A man will front court today accused of trying to flee the country by boat.
The crew on a bulk carrier headed for Newcastle noticed a yacht in trouble in waters off Yamba on Saturday morning.
They pulled the 31-year-old man on board and attached a tow line to his boat.
Once the bulk carrier arrived in Newcastle Port that night, they noticed the man was missing and his yacht had been lost.
Marine Command officials began searching for the man but failed to find him.
Police, the Dog Squad and Border Force were called in for an extensive search on Monday, they allegedly discovered the man hiding in an air conditioning vent.
A search of the Peakhurst man allegedly found more than $4,000 in cash and a knife, they also discovered he was wanted for breach of bail over alleged sexual assault.
Police will allege in court that the man deliberately cut the tow line and planned to hide in the bulk carrier until it departed for Malaysia.