Seven men have been rescued off the coast of Raglan after
finding themselves stuck in rough water and rising winds.
The men were on board a 5.5m aluminium vessel without
sufficient communication, and were only rescued after a
chance sighting by a commercial fisherman as darkness fell on
Despite the men reportedly carrying lifejackets aboard, their
rescue has prompted the Coastguard to issue a warning about
going out to sea without efficient means to communicate and
unprepared for changing weather conditions.
"A local commercial fishing vessel was coming back from a
voyage, we believe, and it was them that located them and
contacted us," said Georgie Smith, spokeswoman for Coastguard
"They took the vessel under tow, in through the bar and back
safely into the harbour, and our vessel Gallagher Rescue and
volunteers from Coastguard Raglan went out. They uplifted the
people from the vessel, took them to shore to an awaiting
ambulance just to check them all over and then went back and
assisted with the tow."
Ms Smith told Radio New Zealand the men were floating outside
Raglan Harbour, which is "quite notorious", especially in
adverse weather conditions.
The men became stuck shortly before dark as winds began
picking up with ex-cyclone June bearing down on New Zealand
on Monday night.
Boaties are advised to log a trip report with their local
Coastguard before going out to sea, and have two types of
waterproof communications on board, as well as ensuring that
everybody has a lifejacket.
Ms Smith said that given the weather conditions so far this
summer, "we've been really lucky".
"From about December 24 to January 19 we've gone to the help
of 408 incidents, which I guess in the end relates to
hundreds of people brought home to safety," she said.
- Patrice Dougan of APNZ