Unable to navigate safely, the couple activated their distress beacon at 11.30pm AEST on Sunday night.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) tasked its Challenger search and rescue jet from Cairns to locate the yacht. AMSA also issued a broadcast to shipping in the area requesting assistance.

A nearby ship, the IVS Phinda responded to AMSA’s broadcast and diverted to the stricken yacht’s location overnight.

The crew of the IVS Phinda rescued the couple shortly after first light, around 8.30am AEST.

AMSA’s Manager of Search and Rescue, Alan Lloyd, said the rescue was in the true spirit of seamanship.

The sea can be a dangerous place and it’s reassuring to know that help is always at hand. We commend the crew of the IVS Phinda for their efforts.