Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Men rescued after boat capsize off Wellington coast

Men rescued after boat capsize off Wellington coast

A search and rescue operation off Wellington’s South Coast today illustrates the importance of boaties having at least two forms of communications equipment on board.

Three men whose 4 metre runabout capsized in heavy seas off Wellington’s South Coast on Thursday night spent long hours in the water before rescue.

The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) said had the men had communications equipment on board their boat, they could have contacted rescuers much sooner and spent far less time in the sea.

The boat was reported overdue to police at about 6.00 on Thursday evening. Its engine was reported to have stalled off Sinclair Head and it was overwhelmed by the large seas and sank immediately. One of the crew made it to shore at Owhiro Bay at about 3.45am.

RCCNZ took over the search and rescue operation at 6.00am today, developing a search area and tasking three helicopters and four vessels. The onsite coordination was provided by the police launch Lady Elizabeth IV.

One of the two men still missing was sighted by a helicopter at about 10.00am and recovered aboard the Coastguard boat Spirit of Wellington. He is reported to be fit and well. The third man was spotted a few minutes later and the Westpac rescue helicopter has airlifted him to Wellington in a serious condition.

Search and Rescue Officer John Dickson said the rescue could have happened much sooner if the men had communications equipment that enabled them to make contact even after they were in the water. “If any of the three had been able to radio or phone for help, we would have known straight away where to look for them.

"These men would have been at considerably less risk of losing their lives if they had been carrying the appropriate communications equipment,” he said.

“We advise all boaties to carry two forms of reliable communications equipment to avoid getting into this situation – once you’re in the water with no means of calling for help, your chances of being rescued are greatly reduced.”

RCCNZ recommends as well that boat owners equip themselves with a distress beacon, which is easily activated and greatly reduces search efforts by speeding up rescues. Registering a distress beacon is a free service provided by RCCNZ.

Mr Dickson said the men probably survived the long period they spent in the water because they were wearing wetsuits and lifejackets, which provided buoyancy and insulation from the cold. However, he said at least one of them was wearing only the lower half of a wetsuit and a kapok lifejacket. He said it is important for boaties to update their gear to ensure they have the best possible protection.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why France Could Become Our Closest Ally In Europe

As PM Jacinda Ardern returns from a triumphant tour to Britain and the capitals of Europe, her officials have probably begun to assess what the more substantive gains from the trip might have been. Most of the chatter has been about potential trade deals – so lets just assume for the moment that bilateral trade deals between big and small countries are a good thing, despite the perils they pose to the smaller party. Currently, Britain is so involved with its Brexit nightmare that there seems little prospect of any substantive early progress on an FTA with Britain. In any case, New Zealand should be wary of being the first cab off that particular rank. ... More>>


HiveMind: Fair Enough? How Should New Zealanders Be Taxed?

Have Your Say - Scoop and PEP invite you to share your issues, ideas and perspectives on the NZ tax system with other New Zealanders using Scoop’s HiveMind tool. This Tax HiveMind is intended to complement and feed into the review being run by the Government-appointed Tax Working Group (TWG), which is looking at the fairness, balance and structure of the tax system with a 10-year time horizon. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Thompson + Clark & Russia’s World Cup

Daily, the coalition government keeps running into examples of the toxic legacy left behind by National – and just as regularly, even the simple fixes are proving stubbornly difficult to enact. Take the case of the security firm Thompson + Clark ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The GCSB’s Security Hang-Up With Russia

So our GCSB has chimed in, alongside its British, Australian and US allies, with warnings about a “fresh wave” of Russian cyber attacks, although the warning has been curiously framed. More>>


PM's Europe Trip: CHOGM & Bilateral Meetings

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is in Europe for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London and meetings with counterparts in Paris and Berlin. More>>


Addressing Climate Change: No New Offshore Exploration Permits

The Coalition Government is taking an important step to address climate change and create a clean, green and sustainable future for New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. More>>


Road Safety Summit: Actions To Improve Identified

The Local Government Road Safety Summit held last week identified actions that will lead to lasting changes to road safety in New Zealand, says Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter. More>>





Featured InfoPages