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Coastguard assists vessel in Bay of Islands


Coastguard assists vessel that struck rocks in Bay of Islands

At 0101 hours on the morning of 24 January, an 8m aluminium vessel struck rocks off the northern tip of Urupukapuka Island, Bay of Islands. The occupants of the vessel activated their on-board EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon), with the distress relay being picked up on the maritime distress VHF Channel 16 by the Coastguard Operations Centre.

More info came in to the Coastguard Operations Centre via Police that the vessel, with 3 people (including a child) and 2 dogs aboard, was taking on some water.

Volunteers with the Coastguard Bay of Islands were paged, and were on scene from Doves Bay by 0205 hours - just over an hour from beacon activation. Another vessel of opportunity also responded.

Upon arrival on scene, Bay Rescue II assessed the scene. The occupants had been on their way back from a late night fishing trip when the vessel hit rocks. The vessel had floated off the rocks with damage to its bow just before Bay Rescue II arrived at 0205 am.
Coastguard volunteers aboard Bay Rescue II assessed the damage, before taking aboard the child for safety. The other occupants elected to stay with their vessel, which was shadowed into Te Uenga Bay by Bay Rescue II. One of those aboard had suffered a minor head injury, which was treated by the Bay of Islands volunteers.

Coastguard Bay of Islands skipper Andre Pieterse said, "The occupants, even the two dogs aboard, were wearing their lifejackets, and had a functioning locator beacon to raise the alarm once they hit the rocks. These factors allowed our trained Coastguard volunteers to respond quickly, for a successful outcome."

"It’s also a timely reminder for boaties to make sure that, along with lifejackets and at least two forms of waterproof communication, they also have the proper navigational equipment aboard, which would’ve helped this trio avoid the collision."

After escorting the boat to safety, the Bay of Islands volunteers returned to Doves Bay by 0430 am.

"It was a long night for our volunteers, but we’re glad the boaties involved are home safe."


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