Teens' lucky escape after drifting off Kāpiti Coast in inflatable boat

Paraparaumu Beach is on the Kapiti coast of the North Island of New Zealand just nor west of the capital, Wellington.
Photo credit: Getty

Three teenagers have had a lucky escape on the Kāpiti Coast after being blown out to sea in inflatable boats. 

The teens, none of whom were wearing life jackets, were in separate inflatable boats at Waikanae Beach when they were blown out to sea. 

Police were alerted at around 1pm that the boats were around 300 to 400 metres offshore. 

The boats were described as "not seaworthy" - and while the sea was described as relatively flat at the time, there was a strong southerly wind that blew the boats out to sea very quickly. 

Police, Coastguard, Surf Lifesaving and the Westpac Rescue helicopter were all deployed to assist with a rescue.

The teens were able to get themselves back to shore by themselves using two small paddles in the boats, and rescue teams were stood down. 

Acting Sergeant Kieran Rawlinson, who attended the incident, says it was a great relief that the teens made it back to shore safely. 

"This could have ended very differently and is an excellent reminder to keep basic water safety rules in mind whenever you're out and about on the water this summer," Acting Sergeant Rawlinson says.

"It's also imperative you make sure that you are aware of the conditions, such as strong winds, and make sure you are not putting yourself or your friends and family at risk."

Police offer the following advice for beach-goers:

 - Be prepared  know how to swim confidently. 

 - Wear a lifejacket when out on the water. 

 - Be aware of hazards  obey warning signs and do not enter the water after drinking. 

 - Know your limits  if in doubt, stay out! 


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