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Late night boating trip ends in Coastguard rescue

Late night boating trip ends in Coastguard rescue

At 2209hrs last night (Friday 8th), the Coastguard Operations Centre received a call via Police about a capsized 12ft dinghy in the Whangarei Harbour. Two people were reported in the water, in full darkness late in the evening.

A volunteer team aboard Coastguard Whangarei Circa Rescue was paged out from the comfort of their homes to conduct an urgent search of the harbour. Meanwhile, the Operations Centre team had managed to get in direct contact with the dinghy occupants, who had been out for a late night's fishing, keeping them on the line and relaying assistance and encouragement. With this line of communication open, Circa Rescue found the men, cold but in good spirits just after 2300hrs. Both men were wearing lifejackets and had their phone – as a form of communication

The men were transported to shore and a waiting ambulance by the Circa Rescue crew, to be assessed for suspected hypothermia.

Coastguard Duty Officer Luke McCarthy said of the boaties, “They did the right thing by taking and wearing their lifejackets, and having waterproof communications on hand.

“They were very lucky – in the dark and without their lifejackets or cellphone, the outcome could have been very different.”

The Coastguard Operations Centre, based in Mechanics Bay in Auckland, maintains a 24/7, 365-day-a-year watch for boaties nationwide.

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