Swamped in second sea mishap

Senior Constable Lox Kellas, of Portobello, stays in radio contact with the Otago Regional Rescue...
Senior Constable Lox Kellas, of Portobello, stays in radio contact with the Otago Regional Rescue Helicopter as it searches for a sunken pleasure craft off Victory Beach, on the Otago Peninsula, yesterday afternoon. Photo by Gregor Richardson.

It was second time lucky - or unlucky - for two Dunedin men at the centre of a water rescue off the Otago Peninsula yesterday.

An alert member of the public notified emergency services after witnessing a boat capsize as it crossed the bar near Victory Beach at 3.15pm.

The force of the first wave blew out the 5m vessel's windscreen before a second wave "swamped" it, Senior Sergeant Brian Benn said.

The Otago Regional Rescue Helicopter, a jet ski and the Coastguard were dispatched to the area, with conditions being "not too bad", he said.

The two men - thought to be in their 20s - were in the water for 15 minutes and managed to swim the 100m to the shore.

The men, who were believed to have been wearing life jackets, were checked by a paramedic at the scene and found to be unscathed.

'The pair had sparked another alert, last time at Taieri Mouth, earlier this year after trying to cross the bar in darkness without lights, Snr Sgt Benn said.

"We gave them some stern words at the time."

It was unlikely they would be involved in a similar rescue again, he said.

"They have got no boat, so that may have solved that."

Attempts would be made to recover the submerged vessel at a later date.

The helicopter crew had helped locate and then map its position.

Snr Sgt Benn said even in relatively calm seas, boat users should never be complacent.

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