An injured sailor is being treated in hospital after a multi-agency rescue mission off the Tiwi Islands, north of Darwin.

The 73-year-old man set off a distress beacon shortly after 1 pm on Friday when he fell and fractured a leg some 16 km off Snake Bay, close to the end of a single-handed ferry of a yacht from Queensland to Darwin.

The signal was relayed via satellite to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority which co-ordinated the rescue.

Navy, border force, water police, police air wing, Snake Bay health clinic and CareFlight teams were involved in the complex rescue.

Because of the man’s injury, which made it difficult to get him off the vessel, and being the only occupant, navy personnel boarded the yacht at sea and brought it to the jetty at Snake Bay.

Health clinic nurses and a CareFlight flight nurse stabilised the man before taking him to the CareFlight rescue helicopter at the local airstrip.

The man remained in a stable condition on arrival at the Royal Darwin Hospital helipad at 8 pm.

CareFlight operates the Top End Medical Retrieval Service which provides medical rescue and retrieval services to Territorians across the Top End, on behalf of the NT Government.