Three men rescued by the navy as their boat was sinking in the Pacific were arrested when sailors spotted bales of marijuana floating in the water, the Mexican Navy Secretariat said.

The suspects were smuggling a total of 127 kilos of marijuana, the secretariat said.

The rescue and arrests were made last Saturday about 148 kilometers (92 miles) off Ensenada, a port city in Baja California, the secretariat said.

The three Mexican nationals were bailing water from the boat, which had a leak, when three navy vessels arrived to assist them.

Jose Carlos Avila Muñoz, 25, Juan Jose Robles Guerra, 25, and Adrian Lopez Aguilar, 33, told sailors that their boat had been dead in the water for a day.

Sailors noticed several bales floating around the boat, recovered them and found marijuana inside, the secretariat said.