A man whose catamaran flipped off a Hawkes Bay beach in rough
conditions was fortunate to be spotted by onshore observers,
"He was lucky that there were people watching from their
balcony," Constable Rickardo Townshend of Napier police said.
"He may have been out there a long time otherwise.
"At first we were concerned as we couldn't get obs (visuals).
We could see one person sitting on the hull of the boat, but
we didn't know if there were others in the water. He wasn't
waving out or anything so that's always a good sign."
The Westshore Beach inflatable rescue boat was dispatched
about 3.30pm yesterday, to check on the man who was floating
about 1km out from shore directly in front of The Esplanade.
Two life guards stayed with the stranded skipper for about an
hour until Napier Coast Guard arrived.
He was wearing a lifejacket and was not injured during the
"He was just a bit cold and a bit tired, we got him on board
and gave him an assessment.
I think he had been in the water for about an hour," Coast
Guard duty skipper Glenn McAdam said.
"He wanted to attempt to flip the catamaran, but after a few
goes, we towed the boat as close to shore as possible, then
[the catamaran skipper] swam in with one of our crew to
Mr McAdam was not sure exactly how the boat had flipped but
noted the conditions were "quite rough", after the wind had
"I'm not sure how experienced he was, but he had a lifejacket
on and was doing everything right as far as I could see."
The stranding was a reminder to always wear a lifejacket,
carry two forms of communication and notify someone of your
- Amy Shanks of Hawke's Bay Today