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Early morning chopper rescue for duo in dinghy at Coromandel

Police News Alert Issued 8.30am

"Water Rescue - Coromandel - Waikato"

Media Release – 31st Dec 2013

Police said that two people rescued last night in the Coromandel by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter are an example of why people need to be prepared before taking to the water.

A male and female both in their mid 30’s were air lifted off from an isolated bay near to “The Pinnacles” on top of the Coromandel Pinnisular shortly after 3:30am this morning.

Snr Sergeant Dave Litton states both these people are extremely lucky not to be either hospitalised or worse a victim of drowning following tonights ordeal.

“It’s an example of how things can quickly go wrong without warning and demonstrates the need to make sure you have the capable equiptment for the conditions, especially if taking to the water”

The ordeal unfolded with the two from Te Puru (in the Waikato) taking a 10 foot aluminuim dinghy out fishing between 7 and 8pm yesterday evening from Fletchers Bay in the Coromandel. Shortly after this the 8 horse power motor has cut out and they have drifted in a moderate sea with a strong north westerly wind and current nearly 2kms before being able to row to shore.

Although the pair had lifejackets on board they were poorly equipped to spend a night out in the open and with overnight rain quickly became cold.

Snr Sgt LITTON states that due to their isolated location and without any sort of communication, they have been stuck in this bay until friends have raised the alarm with a Doc Ranger from the Fletcher Bay Campground just prior to midnight.

The Westpac Rescue Helicopter was subsequently launched and located the pair just after 03:30am in a cold but uninjured state. They were flown back to Fletchers Bay where they were treated and repatriated with friends and family.

Snr Sgt LITTON said that this is a reminder to anyone taking to the water to make sure you’re prepared for any eventuality. Making sure your vessel is up to the task and you have the right equipment to keep you afloat and raise the alarm if needed are the minimums for any boat user.

“Deciding to go fishing with only an hour daylight left in a small 10 foot vessel with a small motor is asking for trouble in an open sea”. Police ask that people think twice before taking to the water in unsafe conditions. “It is all about making sensible decisions to prevent people being put at risk before taking to the water”.


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