Coastguard Hawke's Bay Rescues Three in Challenging Conditions

Hawke's Bay, 13 December 2023 - Coastguard Hawke's Bay volunteers swiftly responded to a distress call at 9:04pm last night, launching a rescue operation to aid three individuals aboard a 12-metre launch. The vessel, initially located due east of Napier and approximately 45 miles offshore, encountered difficulties due to adverse wind and swell conditions, necessitating urgent assistance. 

The 'Celia Knowles Rescue' vessel departed promptly at 9:21pm to navigate the challenging situation. 

The rescue operation encountered evolving circumstances as the distressed vessel's position shifted over time. Upon arrival at Mahia Peninsula, poor visibility and mist hindered locating the vessel. However, Coastguard's efforts, including the deployment of a parachute flare, facilitated the location of the distressed vessel in darkness. 

Amidst wind speeds reaching 20-30 knots and swells up to 3 metres high, Coastguard found the distressed vessel at 12:35am and all three individuals were safely transferred onboard the rescue vessel for a medical check-up.  

Upon arrival back to shore at 5:30am, the individuals were transferred to a waiting ambulance. 

Skipper Henry van Tuel emphasised the challenges faced during the mission, stating, "Navigating through the mist and darkness as well as the swell posed significant challenges. We’re grateful to have found the vessel and everyone onboard was ok." 


For more information, contact:
Kimberley Waters
Coastguard New Zealand Communications Manager
[email protected] 
+64 275 528 947

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