A Brit whose giant yacht began to sink in rough Australian seas has been rescued following a 26-hour search.

The 40-year-old man was sailing to Sydney from Tahiti when his 50-foot (15m) Beneteau yacht started taking on water about 95 nautical miles off the coast of Newcastle.

Police in New South Wales launched a rescue mission at around midnight on Friday and crews were scouring water for around 26 hours before they found the man.

"In rough seas, the vessel and sole occupant, a 40-year-old United Kingdom national, were towed to Newcastle Harbour," New South Wales said in a statement.

Authorities have not yet said where in the UK the man is from.

The man was placed in mandatory coronavirus quarantine in a hotel in Sydney after border processing formalities, police said.

A British national has been saved from his sinking yacht after a 26-hour rescue operation off the coast of Australia. The 40-year-old man had been sailing from Tahiti - a French Polynesian island nearly 8,000km from Australia -when his 50-foot Beneteau yacht hit rough seas 95 nautical miles off the coast of Newcastle, in New South Wales, at 12am on Friday. The Marine Area Command received reports the vessel was taking on water and rescue teams were dispatched to track down the yacht.
Police and rescue teams saved the man following a 26-hour rescue mission

In a statement New South Wales Police said: "Officers from the Marine Area Command have helped rescue a skipper and sinking yacht off Newcastle during a 26-hour operation.

"The Marine Area Command (MAC) received reports of a 50-foot Beneteau yacht taking on water 95 nautical miles off the coast of Newcastle about 12am on Friday (May 14, 2021).

"Port Stephens Water Police with assistance from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority located the yacht 73 nautical miles off the coast about 10am.

"In rough seas, the vessel and sole occupant – a 40-year-old UK national – were towed to Newcastle Harbour, arriving about 1.30am yesterday (Saturday, May 15 2021).

"The skipper has been processed through immigration by Australian Border Force (ABF) officers.

Sydney, Australia - View from Lady Macquarie's Chair
The yacht was travelling to Sydney when it called for help

"He was then escorted by police to a hotel in Sydney’s CBD where he will undergo mandatory quarantine.

"The vessel remains moored at Newcastle Harbour."

Tahiti, where the yacht was sailing from, is the largest island in French Polynesia, located in the central part of the Pacific Ocean.

Australia closed its borders to non-nationals and non-residents in March 2020 and has allowed only limited international arrivals since, mainly citizens returning from abroad.

All overseas arrivals must complete a two-week hotel quarantine, managed by state governments.