An elderly man has gone missing from a cruise liner sailing from Auckland to Sydney.
Fairfax reported that the 84-year-old was reported missing during a 13-day cruise on the Sun Princess, operated by Carnival Australia, and a search failed to find him.
The ship is now retracing its route in the hope of finding the passenger.
A passenger told 2UE radio that the captain made an announcement about 6.30am today that the man was missing and the ship was heading back out to sea.
The Rescue Coordination Centre in Canberra is assisting with the search effort, according to Fairfax.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has also sent out a plane off the coast of Sydney to look for the man, news.com.au reported.
Authority spokesman Mel Larsson told ABC there were “grave concerns” for the man’s welfare, given his age and the length of time he would have been in the water.
“It's quite heavy swells, two to three metres ... [with] 25 to 30 knot winds. It's very difficult to imagine survivability for too long in those circumstances.”
In a statement, the cruise company said it would continue searching until instructed otherwise and had contacted guests due to sail on the next cruise about the delay.