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Kayaker rescued off Matata

Kayaker rescued off Matata

Just before 5.00pm last evening (1 Aug 2011) Whakatane Police were alerted to a kayaker who had fallen out of his kayak approximately 1.5km off Matata.

The officer in charge of the Whakatane Police Station, Senior Sergeant Bruce Jenkins, says Edgecumbe Police, Matata Fire Brigade and members of the public responded and assisted in the Search and Rescue of the 47 year man.

Senior Sergeant Jenkins says the man's kayak sunk after he went to retrieve a Kontiki fishing device.

"Whakatane Coastguard were immediately activated and deployed to the scene, whilst two volunteers from Matata Fire Service commandeered a dinghy which they launched from the beach.

"A local helicopter crew were being scrambled and an Air Force Orion was on standby to assist given rescuers were racing to beat fading light."

Senior Sergeant Jenkins says the dinghy reached the man and managed to support him in the water until the Coastguard rescue boat arrived a few minutes later.

The man was taken ashore to an awaiting ambulance suffering from mild hyperthermia. He was transported to hospital but later discharged.

Police are full of praise for those that assisted, including volunteers from the Matata Fire Service and Whakatane Coastguard, together with those that kept constant observations on the distressed kayaker from shore until rescue vessels could reach him.

"The fact this man was wearing a life jacket combined with the immediate and urgent response of his rescuers saved his life."

© Scoop Media

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