The 345-metre Queen Mary 2, seen near the Sydney Opera House in Australia, changed course in response to a distress call from a 13-metre boat off Nova Scotia early Sunday. ((Carnival Australia, James Morgan/Associated Press))

The Queen Mary 2 luxury ocean liner changed course in response to a distress call early Sunday from a 13-metre pleasure boat off Nova Scotia.

An official with the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Halifax said a pleasure boat about 90 kilometres west of Yarmouth, N.S., sent a distress signal after it had lost power and was taking on water.

The 345-metre Queen Mary 2, which rises more than 60 metres above the waterline, was the closest ship to receive the rescue centre's general distress call and reached the pleasure craft at about 12:45 a.m. AT.

The boat eventually regained power and the Queen Mary 2 was not needed.

Instead, at around 4 a.m. the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Edward Cornwallis arrived and escorted the small American boat to port in Yarmouth.

Weather and sea conditions were rough at the time, with some Queen Mary 2 passengers telling CBC News that when the ship stopped it was rocking more than usual, with a few saying they fell out of their chairs.

In the morning, the ship's captain announced around breakfast time that the ship had stopped because of the smaller boat's dilemma. 

The big liner docked in Halifax on Sunday, a couple of hours late. It was scheduled to leave at 11 p.m.

With files from The Canadian Press