Coastguard and Surf Life Saving collaborate to rescue 16 off Whangamatā

Whenuakura Island, 16 April 2024 - Just after 1020 this morning, Coastguard Whangamatā volunteers responded to 16 people who were stranded on Whenuakura Island after getting into difficulty in three waka.

Together with Whangamatā Surf Life Saving Club, Coastguard Whangamatā's GJ Gardener Rescue retrieved all 16 from the island and returned them safe, albeit cold and wet, to shore around 1140.

Coastguard Whangamatā Duty Officer Ross Falconer: “It was a fantastic result highlighting the great collaboration between Coastguard and Surf Life Saving both on and off the water. With everyone wearing lifejackets, we were quickly able to get all 16 ashore and get them warmed up with blankets and a hot drink at our base.”

Once all persons were accounted for, volunteers retrieved one waka, while the others weren’t able to be saved.


Ben Parsons
Coastguard New Zealand Senior Communications Advisor
[email protected]

Thanks to our life-saving partners:
  • Auckland Council
  • Northland Regional Council
  • Waikato Regional Council
  • Hutchwilco
  • Marine Deals
  • Tower
  • Kordia
  • Hyundai
  • Line7
  • Century Batteries
  • Half Moon Bay
  • NZCT
  • Lotteries Grants Board
  • Lion Foundation
  • Pub Charity