Summer Rescue Snapshot!
Coastguard volunteers worked around the clock this summer to help Kiwis out on the water. Here are a few rescues from the busy period to show you the day-to-day challenges our volunteers face and how your donations help them save lives at sea.
Capsize at Anzac Bay, Tauranga
Two Katikati fishermen are lucky to be alive after an attempted bar crossing at Anzac Bay went horribly wrong. The pair found themselves thrown from their boat and spent four hours desperately clinging to the upturned hull. One of the men decided to swim to shore to raise the alarm whilst the other tied himself to an empty petrol container. Coastguard Waihi Beach sprang into action with the help of the Westpac Rescue helicopter, who spotted the yellow container from above. Both men are lucky to be alive thanks to the efforts of volunteers who came to their rescue.
Flames engulfed boat near Waimahani Bay, Northland
A boatie found himself in a frightening situation when his boat caught on fire off the coast of Waimahani Bay, north of Whangaroa Harbour. He was forced to jump overboard after it was engulfed in smoke and flames. Luckily for the boatie, a member of the public immediately alerted Coastguard Whangaroa. By the time they arrived, another boat had picked him up – he was suffering from severe smoke inhalation. The Coastguard volunteers took him back to the beach, where an ambulance was waiting.
Collision in the Bay of Islands
In the early hours of the morning, three fishermen made a distress call after their boat struck rocks. However, radio operators on shore soon lost contact with them. Coastguard volunteers from the Bay of Islands went out to look for them north of Whale Bay. They found them and their partially-submerged fishing boat under a cliff. The fishermen were shaken by what had happened and thankful Coastguard Bay of Islands could come to their rescue.
48km tow off Napier Port
Coastguard Hawke’s Bay was called out to a 50ft launch that had run out of fuel during its journey from Whangarei to Picton. Before the rescue crew set out, they loaded additional fuel onto their rescue vessel so that it could be transferred to the boat stuck out in the open sea. The vessel was 48km off the Napier Port and had to be towed by Coastguard Hawke’s Bay. It just goes to show that being a Coastguard volunteer is not all guts and glory, but it’s great knowing that our volunteers have your back out on the water no matter the situation.