A skipper was hospitalised with broken teeth and ribs and
back injuries after his boat hit rocks in darkness at Tapeka
Point in the Bay of Islands.
The impact launched the 7-metre Powercat high and dry onto
The 52-year-old skipper had to be winched aboard a rescue
helicopter and flown to hospuital.
Late yesterday the vessel remained on the rocks with a
salvage operation likely to involve a crane on a barge.
The incident occurred about 11.30pm on Saturday when the boat
was on the way back from a fishing and diving trip with three
other men aboard.
Rescuers say the bottom of the vessel's hulls were ripped
Bay of Islands Coastguard skipper Tim Roffey said a team of
five responded to a call for help aboard Bay Rescue 2 and
were able to position the rescue vessel close enough to the
rocks to let off three members.
"It was high and dry. It had launched over a rock and landed
on a second rock," Mr Roffey said.
One of the Coastguard team had just completed a St John
paramedic course and assessed the injured man, who had been
knocked unconscious, and had broken teeth, ribs and back
injures. His neck was immobilised with a collar and he was
covered with a blanket before the Northland Electricity
rescue helicopter was called to winch him off the rocks.
The other three men had bumps and bruises and were taken to
Waitangi where they were checked by St John staff in an
The Northland Electricity rescue helicopter left Whangarei at
1.10am and at the scene immediately began co-ordinating with
the Coastguard crew on the rocks.
A paramedic was lowered and the patient placed on a special
rescue stretcher before they were both winched aboard the
Pilot Russell Procter said a spotlight from the aircraft
focused on the action below but there was plenty of moonlight
and sea conditions were calm.
The man was flown to Whangarei Hospital where he remained in
a comfortable condition.
Northland Regional Council harbourmaster Jim Lyall said he
would liaise with Maritime NZ and an investigation would
There were plenty of rocks in the Bay of Islands to hit and
travelling at the appropriate speed, especially at night, was
an important safety tip, Mr Lyall said.
"People [who don't] know the rocks are there have run over
them because they haven't given them a wide berth, especially
Tapeka Point which is a brutal bit of rock."
- Kristin Edge of the Northern Advocate