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Westpac Helicopter Rescues Two Men At Titahi Bay

The Wellington based Westpac Rescue Helicopter rescued two men off the rocks below Titahi Bay following a "mayday" call earlier this evening.

The helicopter received a call from the Rescue Co-ordination Centre saying that a mayday message had been received from a boat about two miles off shore near Titahi Bay and Mana Island.

The Westpac Rescue Helicopter, equipped with it's 30 million candle power Nitesun spotlight and Night Vision Goggles was responding to the area when we were informed that police units at the top of the cliffs at Titahi Bay could hear a whistle and people calling for help below. The helicopter flew to the area and quickly located the overturned boat about 100 metres off shore and then spotted two men on the rocks.

"Once we spotted the men we informed police and RCCNZ and then went in for the rescue" says Westpac Rescue Helicopter crewman Dave Greenberg.

The men were brought into the helicopter and then safely delivered to the police who were waiting above.

Westpac Rescue Helicopter crew Ruth Zeinert says "they were cold and a bit scared when I got down to them but once I calmed them down I was able to get them into their harnesses so they could be rescued. Once the helicopter disappeared over the hill I took off my helmet and just enjoyed the beautiful night until they came to winch me back up".

Conditions at Titahi Bay were nearly perfect and it is unknown why the boat overturned in the first place. Their was only a bit of wind and the sea was calm.

The two men, one 25 and one 35 years old, both from Porirua, were unharmed, but both wet and cold from their swim to the rocks and the wait for rescue. They were both wearing life jackets and had a marine radio so seemed well prepared.

Wellington Free Ambulance responded to the scene and found both men to be cold but otherwise OK. They were returned to their vehicle so they could make their way home. The Porirua Coastguard was in the process of recovering the overturned boat when the helicopter departed the area.


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