A man found safe in his yacht about 2600 kilometres east of Christchurch is Polish round-the-world sailor Gregor Wegrzyn.
The 64-year-old activated an emergency beacon on Thursday afternoon that alerted the New Zealand Rescue Coordination Centre.
While in Melbourne in December, Wegrzyn told local newspaper The Star he had set sail from Poland on June 6, 2015 and planned to circumnavigate the world twice, once in each direction.
Before reaching Australia he and his 10.6-metre yacht, Reginar R – named after his grandmother – had survived 16 storms at sea, he said.
Wegrzyn left Auckland on March 18 and planned to return to Poland around Cape Horn in Chile.
A New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion aircraft flew over the sailor and his yacht about 10.30am on Friday and made radio contact, Air Commodore Darryn Webb said.
"Our crew established communications with the skipper. He reported a problem with the vessel's helm and appeared to be in good spirits."
Webb said the Orion crew gave the yacht's position to MV Key Opus, a commercial ship in the area. It was about 1600km east of the Chatham Islands.
MV Key Opus was expected to reach the yacht on Saturday morning. There was no immediate danger to the yacht.
Wegrzyn had limited English, but a message was relayed to him in Polish to let him know a ship was coming to rescue him, a Maritime New Zealand spokesman said.
The yacht was equipped with a VHF radio and a life raft.
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