Busy night in wind, swells for Coastguard

Coastguard staff have been busy overnight, with rescues near Cape Reinga and near Waihi.

Surf Life Saving (SLS) Ahipara and the Houhora Coastguard were called to Tapotupotu Bay after two divers became stranded on rocks around 5:20pm on Thursday.

With light from the Coastguard vessel, two lifeguards entered the water in 40-knot winds and strong swells, and managed to swim the pair to safety.

SLS northern region lifeguard supervisor Duncan Buchanan says the young men, thought to be in their 20s, were lucky to be saved with fading light a concern for rescuers.

Based in Ahipara, it would take SLS over an hour to get to Tapotupotu Bay.

"There was concern we wouldn't have much daylight for this incident. As the lifeguards were dispatched, Coastguard were dispatched at the same time with the hope and ability to provide some light and lighting cover.

"Night rescue is something that's very tricky and very dangerous potentially and not usually something within [SLS] capability, but we were fortunate where we had enough of a daylight window where we could respond," Mr Buchanan told Newshub.

He says the men were appropriately dressed for the conditions and did the right things - they weren't alone and others knew where they were meant to be.

Meanwhile, early on Friday morning in the Bay of Plenty, two boaties called for help from near the Bowentown Bar, after becoming disoriented in large swells and strong winds.

Coastguard spokesman Nico Doodeman says their navigation equipment failed and they got confused in strong winds and big swells.

"It was using a cellphone that we were able to obtain his GPS position, so without that we would have been searching for him. It made the job a lot easier."

They were successfully shepherded back to shore.