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
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,
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