One person is dead and five are missing after a French Polynesian ship with 22 people on board sank off Rimatara island.
The Tahiti Nui IV sent a distress signal in the middle of the night before it went down this morning shortly after being spotted by a rescue aircrft.
A French helicopter rescued 14 people and flew them to Rurutu which is about 100 kilometres away from the accident site.
A ship in the area saved another person and also picked up a body of a person who had drowned.
Officials say the 10 passengers on the Tahiti Nui were mainly workers and technicians employed in building an airstrip on Rimatara.