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Source: New Zealand Police (National News)

Last month, Saturday 24 February three boys went out fishing in their kayaks off the coast off the Tangoio settlement, north of Napier. They did everything right. They told their family where they were going, they were wearing lifejackets, they hired emergency locator beacons AND registered them.

By 9pm on that fateful evening, everything went wrong. They tipped out of their kayaks, the RCC couldn’t locate the GPS of the personal locator beacon and they’d been in the water for two hours.

Police search and rescue were called to assist with reports of people fishing who’d ended up in the water hanging on to their kayaks in the Hastings district – a very wide description of an area in which to search. 

Senior Sergeant Andrew Knox, Hawke’s Bay Search & Rescue Coordinator says “Two of the kayakers made it back to shore, but the last one in the party was still adrift in their kayak.

Luckily, they had registered their personal mobile number with the locator beacon service and the RCC was able to contact family to find out where they had gone fishing.

A rescue helicopter was then dispatched to the area where they were last seen near Wapatiki Beach.”

He was located shortly before 11pm not far from the Tangoio settlement area and the Coastguard was sent to pick him up.

The remaining kayaker was checked over by ambulance services and he was found to be very cold, but very lucky to have been found.

Andrew says, “It could have been a lot worse, they could have not had a beacon or lifejacket or told anyone what they were up to, or worse, it could have been winter and the water colder. But they did all the right things – and that’s how we were able to find them and find them quickly and make them safe.

I cannot stress enough the importance of hiring a locator beacon, learning how to use it properly and registering it. You should always tell someone where you are going – not to mention wearing lifejackets. These three did all the right things and they are here to tell the tale because of it.”


Issued by Police Media Centre