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Police Rescue After Boat Sinks, Firth Of Thames

Waikato District Police Operations Manager Inspector Karl Thornton:

Thames Police and Eagle carried out a dramatic rescue of two men last night after a boat sunk in the Firth of Thames.

The pair were out fishing yesterday evening when they came into trouble in heavy seas.

A rogue wave hit the side of their boat, which filled with water and began to sink.

Luckily both of the men were wearing lifejackets, and one of them was able to call Police around 7:50pm to say their boat had sunk and they were in the water.

The Police Eagle helicopter was called out and headed straight to the scene north of Thames.

Around 8:25pm officers on board Eagle spotted the pair clinging to a chilly bin in the water, in poor light and heavy seas.

A local couple assisted by ferrying Police out on their boat to rescue the men, and were directed by Eagle to their location.

By this time it was dark and the weather was extremely rough, and without the quick response from Police and locals the outcome could have been tragic.

The pair were returned to land and treated by Ambulance for hypothermia.

This is the second water rescue in the Firth of Thames this week and a timely reminder to make sure you are ready and equipped for emergencies when out on the water.

The rescued pair had reflective patches on their life jackets and emergency whistles, which played a major part in officers being able to spot them quickly and get them out of the cold water.

All boaties are reminded to:

  • always wear a life jacket when boating, jet skiing or using other craft on the water
  • have two forms of waterproof communication on board
  • make sure equipment is safe and working
  • leave trip intentions with someone onshore
  • always check the water and weather forecast.
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