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Source: New Zealand Police (District News)

Please attribute to Constable Kyle Smith, Wellington Police Maritime Unit:

The Wellington Police Maritime Unit today responded to a report of a sinking vessel with two men on board.

Around 12.20pm Police were notified of a jet boat that was sinking in Wellington Harbour. The two men managed to jump off the sinking boat and were found floating in the water one kilometer off Somes Island.

Thankfully both men were wearing life jackets, that helped to keep them afloat in the water, thus increasing their chances of survival.

Police rescued one of the men who was suffering from hypothermia and the other man was rescued by the Red Hot Marine staff who were in a nearby boat.

One of the men agreed they would have drowned if not for the life jackets. They were treated by ambulance staff on arrival at the Seaview Marina.

It was established that the duo noticed water flooding into the hull of the vessel as soon as they got up to speed.

Despite efforts to stem the flood, the 5.8m jet boat started sinking quickly before the men could call on their VHF radio.

Maritime Police commended both men, saying the incident emphasises how important it is to be prepared when heading out on the water.

The owner of the vessel has already undertaken actions to recover the vessel from the seabed.

Water safety is so important and some simple common sense checks can prevent needless tragedies.

It’s important when boating to be familiar with navigational hazards in your area to ensure a safe passage.

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


Issued by the Police Media Centre.