Saved man an example of water's dangers – Coastguard

A paramedic was winched from a Westpac Rescue Helicpoter to assess the man (Supplied)
A paramedic was winched from a Westpac Rescue Helicpoter to assess the man (Supplied)

A man pulled from the water yesterday afternoon by Coastguard volunteers is "lucky to be alive".

Kawau Rescue and Coastguard Air Patrol started a search for the man after his partner notified Coastguards Northern Region Operations Centre that his boat was quickly taking on water.

 

He was unable to give specific details of where he was located, but his partner said he had left Great Barrier Island and was heading to Sandspit.

An hour after the initial call at 3:47pm, the man was found floating among debris of the vessel that was just above waterline. He was pulled onto the Coastguard Rescue vessel, but was later treated by a paramedic who was winched onto the rescue boat from a Westpac Rescue Helicopter from Auckland.

He was hypothermic and disorientated.

"This is an example of how the unexpected can happen so quickly out on the water. The man was prepared in that he was wearing his lifejacket and had recently purchased flares and an EPIRB from TradeMe," says Coastguard duty officer Mark Leevers.

However, it was registered to its previous owner and was not GPS fitted, so it needed additional time for another pass of the satellite to provide a location.

Mr Leevers says the VHF radio is the best form of communication, and "it's just fortunate that Coastguard Volunteers located him when they did".

He reminds boaties to register their EPRIB and carry appropriate means of communication when in the water this summer.

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