'Distressed' Marlborough boat under tow

01:47, Jan 13 2013

The vessel that released a distress message seeking help in the Marlborough Sounds is now safely under tow.

The message, received by Maritime Radio in Wellington about 1.30pm, said there were three adults and two children on board a vessel in distress in Nikau Bay, Kenepuru Sound.

A Maritime New Zealand spokeswoman said the vessel's engine had broken down, so those on board had put out the message.

"The boat is now under tow and everyone on board is safe and well," the spokeswoman said.

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