Coastguard Thames rescues two kayakers, including one from water

After spending several hours in the water, and with sunset approaching, two kayakers have been located and rescued by Coastguard Thames volunteers in the Firth of Thames.

At around 7.20pm last night, two kayakers reported themselves in difficulty off Tapu on the Firth of Thames. One kayaker had been in the water for over an hour, unable to get back into their kayak following a capsize. Both kayakers were wearing lifejackets.

Coastguard Thames was paged and responded immediately, with six volunteers onboard Richardsons Rescue tasked.

Coastguard Thames skipper Steve Mansell said volunteers were faced with fading light, an increasing offshore breeze and difficulties pinpointing the exact location of the pair.

“The target was initially reported as 500m off Tapu, which turned out to be 2NM off the coast. We were very lucky to pick them up, we did an initial search in the reported location when one of our volunteers spotted something in the far distance, which we investigated and located the two kayakers at around 8.20pm,” he said.

Coastguard Operations and the Radio Operator stayed on the line with the two kayakers for almost an hour until Richardsons Rescue arrived on scene.

Steve Mansell: “It was critical to assess their vitals and start to warm them up as soon as we got them aboard. We have crew with EMT experience on-board which is invaluable during incidents of this nature.”

Coastguard Thames transported both kayakers and their kayaks back to Kopu Ramp, with the kayaker who had been in the water hypothermic and requiring urgent medical attention. Both kayakers were transferred to hospital by ambulance and later discharged.

Steve Mansell: “We had an incredible response to the incident last night – with more volunteers than required responding to our pager. We’re grateful this incident had a positive outcome and wish the pair all the best for their recovery.”


For more information, contact:
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