The sailor was found about 946km from Hobart when a search and rescue operation was launched after an emergency signal was picked up on Friday afternoon local time by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.

Communication equipment was dropped to the sailor but officers were unable to ascertain much info from him as he spoke little English, and they spoke little French.

He remains floating in the ocean with the Orion cruise liner on its way to assist the stranded, bobbing sea-goer, but the ship is still two days away.