The Scot Free was stranded 740km off North Cape. Picture / RNZAF
14.06.05 UPDATED at 11.45am
The crews of two stricken yachts have been rescued north of New Zealand.

The latest rescue was of two people from their yacht in huge seas south of Fiji.

The couple, a Whangarei woman and a Swedish man, were taken aboard the bulk carrier Baltimar Boreas from the yacht Ciru about 10am.

Rescue officials say they were both in good health.

Navigation warnings have been issued for the Ciru and another yacht, Scot Free, which also issued a mayday call when it ripped sails and lost its engine and global positioning system yesterday.

The Canadian crew of the yacht Scot Free was rescued shortly before daybreak by the container ship Capitaine Wallis nearly 800km north of New Zealand.

Both ships are heading to Auckland.

The two yachts have been abandoned and were expected to break up and sink in the heavy seas, Rescue Co-ordination Centre spokeswoman, Heidi Brooke said.

The Scot Free lost its mast, and its engine and global positioning system were not working.

It is understood one or both of the yachties had injuries but details were not clear because of the communication difficulties.

An RNZAF Orion was earlier maintaining a position over the Ciru's liferaft and would be relieved about 9am today by a second aircraft which took off from Whenuapai about 7am.

At first light the Orion in the area was due to drop a package containing a radio and other supplies to the liferaft.

Ms Brooke earlier said once they had established contact with the yachties they would know how badly hurt one or both of them were.

"The only contact we have had with them was the Mayday call which went to the maritime operations centre late yesterday telling us their boat was capsizing and they were heading into their liferaft. We haven't heard from them since,"

She said the crew of Ciru also fired flares to let the Orion know where they were which was a "really, really good sign".

The Orion also detected a hot spot on the rear of the capsized Ciru which search controller Geoff Lunt said was another positive sign.

The Orion dropped two packages of emergency equipment to Ciru, shortly after 7am.

Rescuers believe the crew may have been able to re-board the yacht after one crew member was seen in the door of the yacht by the Orion crew.

They had earlier said they were taking to the liferaft after the yacht capsized.