Four people have been rescued from a sinking boat off the
Opotiki Bar in the Bay of Islands.
Police and Coastguard received a distress call about 8am
today that a 5.5m boat 5km off the bar had spilt its hull and
was taking water on rapidly.
The four people on board were in contact with Coastguard
through VHF radio but its battery was threatened by rising
water in the boat.
The Opotoki Coastguard and a Whakatane Coastguard Rescue boat
The Rescue Coordination Centre put a distress call out over
the emergency marine radio channel for assistance from other
Local boat Big Red responded and rescued those on board just
before the boat sank.
Police praised the skipper and crew of the sinking boat,
pointing to good safety equipment including lifejackets, a
VHF radio, flares and a cellphone.
"They basically took the word 'search' out of 'search and
rescue' which is always going to help save your life," police