Police have criticised the "sheer stupidity" of three divers
without lifejackets, a radio, cellphones or an anchor who
needed rescuing after their inflatable boat drifted out to
Their boat went adrift after its small outboard motor seized
while the three Palmerston North men, all in their 40s, were
diving off Akitio Beach, south of Dannevirke, yesterday
A man onshore saw the boat drifting out to sea and alerted
police about 4.30pm.
"It wasn't long before the inflatable craft was out of sight
to those onshore," Inspector David White said.
A helicopter and local fishing vessels helped police search
for the boat.
It was found by one of the local search vessels about 45
minutes after it was last seen.
Mr White said the three men were on the inflatable boat,
which had drifted 5km out to sea.
"Very strong north westerly winds could have carried the
inflatable a long way out to sea," Mr White said.
He said people in charge of boats needed to take proper
responsibility for themselves and their passengers.
"Sufficient preparation when undertaking boating activities
is very important.
"Heading out to sea without any life jackets, safety beacon,
a radio, or a cellphone is just sheer stupidity."