Six rescued by Coastguard after waka ama breaks apart in Northland

Greenstone TV Ltd.
Coastwatch Publicity
July 14th 2012
Photo credit: Coastguard / Supplied


Six people have been rescued after their waka ama broke into pieces off the Northland coast today.

Coastguard says it received a distress call just after 9am.

A beacon signal was picked up and Coastguard volunteers found the paddlers in the water with the broken waka about an hour later, near Taronui Bay, north of Kerikeri.

The six paddlers were checked over by a waiting ambulance crew, and there were no major injuries.

A volunteer skipper who helped pull the waka ama team to safety says they did everything right to keep safe.

Coastguard volunteer skipper Robb Henry says the group were easy to find, as they stayed with their broken waka with lifejackets on.

"The fact that the people did everything by the book, perfectly right, meant there will be families in Northland who are very relieved, rather than families in Northland tonight who are going to be brokenhearted."

Henry says another boat was used to tow the broken waka to shore.