It might look easy, but crossing from Taieri Mouth to
Moturata Island can be ''extremely hazardous'', authorities
Four teenagers prompted a Search and Rescue (SAR) call to the
area on Saturday night.
The three males and one female aged between 11 and 14 walked
across the sand bar at low tide from Taieri Mouth to the
island, but were caught by a rising tide on return.
They managed to reach Taieri Mouth before police and Brighton
Surf Life-saving Club members arrived, having been called by
resident and SAR water adviser Keith Simon about 9.30pm.
He said such incidents were becoming more common and people
needed to be aware of the dangers when crossing to Moturata
Senior Sergeant Steve Aitken, of Dunedin, reiterated the
message and said the teenagers were lucky to avoid a much
SAR incident controller Brian Benn said the group had checked
tidal information for Dunedin, but that was not applicable to
''Tide times vary up and down the coast. The group also left
it fairly late in the evening to return to Taieri Mouth,'' he
Snr Sgt Benn said the area was notorious for SAR calls.
A few times a year people were caught by rising tides as they
tried to cross between Taieri Mouth and Moturata Island, and
there were even more incidents each year of people getting
into trouble while crossing the bar in boats, he said.
''You have to be careful about picking the right time and the
right tides. We would prefer to see people back at Taieri
Mouth well before dark.''
Snr Sgt Brian said the crossing could be deceptive. People
thought it would be easier and faster to cross than it
usually was, he said.
''It's pretty hard work. You think it's not too far and it
looks fairly easy, but when you start wading in waist-deep
water which is moving against you and you've got 1km to go,