Rescued fishermen 'asking for trouble'

Two people were rescued from a Coromandel bay early today after the motor on their dinghy cut out.

The pair, in their mid-30s and from Te Puru in Waikato, went fishing about 7pm yesterday from Fletchers Bay in the Coromandel.

Shortly after launching, the motor on the dinghy cut out, leaving the pair adrift 2km from shore.

They made it to an isolated bay after rowing ashore.

Friends at Fletchers Bay raised the alarm with a Department of Conservation ranger just before midnight, Senior Sergeant Dave Litton said.

The Westpac Rescue Helicopter located the pair just after 3.30am in a cold, but uninjured state.

They were flown back to Fletchers Bay where they were treated and reunited with friends and family.

Although they had lifejackets on board, they had no communication devices and were poorly equipped to spend a night out in the open, with rain quickly making them cold, police said.

Mr Litton said the pair were extremely lucky not to end up in hospital or even become a drowning statistic.

"It's an example of how things can quickly go wrong without warning and demonstrates the need to make sure you have the capable equipment for the conditions, especially if taking to the water," he said.

The incident was a reminder to anyone taking to the water to make sure they were prepared for any eventuality.

Making sure vessels were up to the task and had the right equipment on board to keep passengers afloat and raise the alarm if needed were the minimums for any boat user, he said.

"Deciding to go fishing with only an hour daylight left in a small 10-foot vessel with a small motor is asking for trouble in an open sea."

- Brendan Manning of APNZ

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