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Search and rescue incident in the Whangarei Harbour

Search and rescue incident in the Whangarei Harbour

A man, aged in his 60s, was rescued off the coast of Northland last night after his kayak was blown out to sea in strong winds.

About 6.30pm last night the 62-year-old man had left work from the oil refinery at Marsden Point to kayak across the Whangärei Harbour to his home in Reotahi.

By 9.20pm he hadn't arrived home, so Police were alerted. With the assistance of the Whangärei Coastguard and the Northland Emergency Services Trust helicopter a search was started around the Whangärei Harbour area.

About 1am this morning he was located safe and well about 1.5 kilometres off the coast near Ruakaka Beach.

Northland Police Search and Rescue's Senior Sergeant Cliff Metcalfe says the actions of the man were bordering on "stupid" and he placed rescuers lives at risk when they went to look for him.

"There was already a weather warning in place for Northland with heavy rain, gale force winds and atrocious conditions on the water."

Mr Metcalfe says the man was pushed out of the harbour by the strong wind and out going current and was extremely lucky to be located at all.

"This incident is a reminder that people need to check the weather conditions before they go out in a boat. People also need to take some form of communication, such as a cellphone or marine radio so they can let others know if they get into trouble."


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