Coastguard Bay of Islands respond to Coastal Classic emergency

Bay of Islands, 21 October 2023 - Overnight, Coastguard volunteers aboard Kokako Rescue from Coastguard Bay of Islands found themselves thrust into action while conducting night time training on the water. At 11:29 PM, they were unexpectedly tasked to respond to a distress call from a yacht racing in the Bay of Islands.

A crew member on board the yacht had been struck by the boom, rendering them unconscious and necessitating immediate medical attention.  

Ayden Armitage, Coastguard volunteer crew onboard Kokako Rescue explained that their training coinciding with the Coastal Classic was a strategic decision and significantly reduced their response time.   

Upon reaching the yacht at shortly after 0100 hours one of our crew boarded with a medical kit including a defibrillator. Sadly, the individual passed away.

The other sailors on the yacht were assessed including two who had sustained moderate injuries.   

Kokako Rescue accompanied the yacht back to Opua, arriving shortly before 0400 hours. 

Armitage conveyed their condolences, saying, "Our thoughts are with the whānau of the sailor and their fellow crew members who were on board at the time."

Further enquiries are to be referred to the Commodore of the New Zealand Multihull Yacht Club, host of the annual event, or New Zealand Police.


Kimberley Waters
Coastguard New Zealand Communications Manager
[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