33pct rise in Coastguard's summer rescues

Coastguard has seen a massive spike in boaties needing summer rescues after one of its busiest periods in recent years.

Since October 2017, 121 people have need rescuing - 30 more than the same time last year. In January alone there were over 1100 calls for assistance made to the Coastguard.

"The hot summer has definitely resulted in more people being out on the water," says CEO Patrick Holmes.

"Thankfully the majority of incidents, especially around the peak Christmas holiday period, were for mechanical issues."

Major incidents included rescuing stranded motorists and residents in rapidly flooding rivers in Canterbury, and rescuing a critically ill passenger from a cruise liner in heavy seas off Auckland.

The summer boating season officially ends on Easter weekend, which is forecast to have favourable weather for boaties.

However Coastguard warns that good weather shouldn't lead to complacency.

"New Zealand's weather is highly unpredictable and can change in an instant," Mr Holmes says.

"It's essential for everyone to take proper safety precautions before heading out on the water this weekend, including checking the weather forecast and not going out on the water if it doesn't look good."


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