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Police say it could be 24 hours before three people who are stranded on a yacht in waters off Esperance are brought to shore.

The skipper of the yacht contacted authorities at about 7.30pm when the vessel’s engine failed.

Authorities were hoping to reach the stranded boat this morning.

A police spokeswoman said they were still quite a few nautical miles off shore.

“Everyone is fine but the rescue is going to take some time still,” she said.

“I think they were going to reach them some hours ago and then it’s probably going to take about 24 hours before they can get them to a safe haven in Israelite Bay.”