Wellington -

A Briton and a New Zealander were rescued from their damaged yacht on Friday after two uncomfortable nights on the leaking vessel in rough seas off Tonga, New Zealand maritime officials said.

The pair hit trouble when huge waves rolled over their 11.6-metre yacht Windigo late on Wednesday about 700 kilometres south-west of the Pacific island, the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand said.

It said a freighter reached the yacht early on Friday and was able to lower lines to the crew, a 52-year-old British man and 43-year-old New Zealand woman, and haul them to safety.

They suffered minor head injuries when the yacht rolled and the man also hurt his back.

The rescue centre said a New Zealand patrol boat was on its way to pick up the pair from the freighter. - Sapa-AFP