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Personal trainer Alex Spenceley was getting ready for work about 2.20pm when two police officers knocked on his door to ask if he had binoculars.
"They said there’s a man out in the water and he’s been there for about 20 or 30 minutes."
A kayaker was struggling more than 100m off the coast. While the man was wearing a lifejacket, he was unable to get back in the vessel after falling out.
Outside, a crowd was watching events unfold when a man passing on a motorbike stopped.
"We said to each other we should just go out and get him," Mr Spenceley said.
"We asked the cops, because you don’t know what can get you in trouble these days."
With their blessing, the two stripped down and swam out to the man.
"We just told him to hold on to the kayak because he was knackered and cold.
"We said ‘you just hold on mate and we’ll take you back in’."
The man was "pretty stoked" to see the two.
"He was a real happy dude."
After they reached the shore, an ambulance took the man to Dunedin Hospital to get checked.
The rescue was not quite enough exercise for Mr Spenceley, who followed it up with a session at the gym.
The time spent helping the kayaker meant he missed his scheduled appointment with a client
but luckily they thought Mr Spenceley had a legitimate excuse.
A police spokeswoman said officers had been made aware of the man in difficulty about 2.20pm.