Source: New Zealand Police (District News)
A person was rescued today today by the Police Maritime Unit on board the Lady Elizabeth IV after being swept out to sea in a kayak by wind and a strong current.
They had launched their kayak at Red Rocks and intended on fishing close to shore, however shortly after their kayak capsized a few hundred metres offshore.
They were swept further out to sea by strong local currents before they managed to get back on the kayak.
When they tried to paddle back to shore, the 25-knot offshore wind prevented them making any headway. They then capsized again but managed to deploy the anchor to stop them being swept further out to sea.
They lost their handheld VHF during the capsize and crawled onto the upturned kayak. Their cell phone was protected by a waterproof bag, but they were unable to call for help as there was no coverage in the area. To top it off their life jacket had promptly deflated.
Luckily a keen-eyed person on top of the hills noticed them struggling in the water and called Police.
A mayday was broadcast and the Bluebridge ferry ‘Straitsman’ helped Police by stopping mid journey to assist with locating the person. They were pulled from the water by Police at about 3pm.
Senior Constable Kyle Smith of the Wellington Maritime Unit says things could have easily ended differently.
“Although the man had enough equipment for his undertaking, a number of things went wrong leaving it up to chance that he was rescued today.
“Police would like to remind people not to underestimate the weather forecast, check your equipment is working and always let someone know what your plans are.”
Issued by the Police Media Centre