Cyclone Pam: French yachtie heartbreakingly ditches yacht, takes shelter with NZ navy

A lone French sailor directly in the path of Cyclone Pam has been forced to abandon his yacht and take shelter with the New Zealand navy onboard the warship HMNZS Wellington.

A lone French sailor directly in the path of the cyclone has taken shelter with the NZ navy. Source: 1 NEWS

It took more than 24 hours and three attempts to convince the 34-year-old to leave his yacht, around 70 kilometres south of Raoul Island.

ONE News reporter, Renee Graham, who is onboard the HMNZS Wellington, says the ship's captain, Lieutenant Commander Graham Maclean, motored across to the yacht this morning with some coffee for a meeting with the yachtsman.

"His life is at risk, this is one the biggest storms we've seen in this area in history. It's one of the most intense storms I've seen develop in this part of the world as well," Mr Maclean said.

"We are obliged under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, through the United Nations, to provide assistance to him."

Several hours after their morning meeting, the yachtsman radioed the Wellington to say he was prepared to ditch his vessel.

The HMNSZ Wellington was supporting a scientific mission in the Kermadec Arc but cut the trip short due to the approaching storm.

It will now head back to Auckland.