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Successful rescue of kayaker near Titirangi

At about 12:55pm Tuesday 29 April, Police received reports of a kayak and a paddle floating about 200 metres off shore in French Bay Titirangi, Auckland. There didn’t appear to be anyone with the kayak.

Eagle helicopter was deployed to search and after a short time, located a man in the middle of the channel. He was motionless and floating a short distance from where the kayak was reportedly seen.

The man appeared to be wearing a wetsuit and life vest.

Eagle liaised with Fire Rescue Service at Auckland International Airport and requested their staff and hovercraft to assist. From the air, Eagle staff communicated by using hand signals with the man, at which point he indicated that he was not o.k.

Eagle deployed a crew member to assist the man stuck in the water.

Using a surf lifesaving rescue tube and swimmer equipment, the Eagle crew member remained in the water providing flotation and reassurance to the man until the hovercraft arrived.

Fire Rescue Service assisted with the recovery and transport of both the man and Eagle crew member to French Bay.

The man who was only wearing an old flotation vest, wind-proof jacket and pants claimed he had been in the water for approximately three hours. He could hardly talk due to his cold state.

The man was checked by ambulance and was suffering from hypothermia.

This reinforces the importance of being prepared when undertaking water sports. We encourage people to;

· wear appropriate clothing

· have a waterproof means of communication

· Let others know your plans so if you encounter unexpected issues the authorities can be informed.

Police would like to thank members of the public for their assistance during and after the incident, along with the Auckland International Airport Rescue Fire Service.


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