News from NZ Police
Three Papakura people were rescued at about 8am this morning after about 20 hours in the water of the Firth of Thames between Coromandel and Waiheke Island. One person, an 11 year-old boy, is still missing and Police helicopter Eagle, Westpac Rescue Helicopter, Coastguard and the Police launch Deodar, are searching for him.
The four were reported missing shortly before midnight last night and searches got underway immediately. Eagle was stood down at about 2am and resumed the search early this morning.
A member of the public in a yacht came across the upturned hull of the runabout at about 8am and recovered one of the survivors. He left his tender with another survivor who was then winched aboard the Westpac Rescue helicopter.
The third person was located by Eagle and a Police crew member jumped into the sea with a floatation device to rescue him. Both were then recovered by Deodar.
Still missing is an 11 year-old boy who has not been seen since he drifted off from his family sometime after 2am.
The four males, who are all related, set off from Kawakawa Bay at about 11am yesterday. Their 12 foot runabout capsized within an hour of launching it.
Two of those rescued are in Auckland Hospital while the third, a 21 year-old, is on board the Police launch assisting with the search. Deodar is expected back at the Marine Rescue Centre at about 1pm today.
None of the survivors was wearing a life jacket when recovered.
Press Release – Coastguard Northern Region
Coastguard Northern Region’s Communications and SAR Response Centre was alerted by Police early this morning to a report of an overdue vessel which had left Kawakawa Bay yesterday morning with four persons on board. At 0850 hours this morning, Coastguard Air Patrol and a member of the public discovered the overdue vessel, a small 14ft runabout, 6NM east of Ruthe Passage, in the northern end of Ponui Island. The vessel ‘Ocean’s One’ had two persons clinging to it, with the Police Eagle Helicopter locating a third person near the hull in the water nearby.
Coastguard Air Patrol remained on scene to direct other search and rescue resources to the distressed vessel’s location. Westpac Rescue 2 was shortly on scene to winch the two persons from the water with the third person being rescued from the water by the Police Launch Deodar.
Just before 0900 hours, Coastguard Maraetai, Coastguard Waiheke and Coastguard Thames were tasked to the incident to work with Police vessel Deodar in the search for the fourth person who remains missing.
Coastguard Auckland Air Patrol and Police helicopter Eagle are undergoing a search of the area.
The search is still ongoing.
About Coastguard Northern Region:
Coastguard is the charity that provides New Zealand’s primary maritime search and rescue service. The organisation operates from a network of four regions and 71 affiliated units that are located around the coastline and major lakes of New Zealand.
Coastguard Northern Region operates the area from Thames across to the Mokau River and everywhere north. They are based at the Auckland Marine Rescue Centre (AMRC) in Mechanics Bay. Each year the operations room at the AMRC receives over 100,000 VHF marine radio calls. However, Coastguard Northern Region does more than rescues at sea. Generations of dedicated people have established an organisation that provides a wealth of services to every person using our harbours and beaches.
We provide a 24 hour a day, 365 days a year service.
Install and maintain VHF radio repeaters throughout the Northern Region to enable mariners to communicate with each other over long distances.
Provide a 24 hour continuous weather forecast on marine radio VHF channels 20, 21, 22 and 23.
Accept trip reports from any vessel able to make radio contact.
Provide a range of boating education courses to ensure that boaties have a sound knowledge of their boats and the rules of the road at sea.
Coastguard’s Northern Region Maritime School gives boaties the skills they need for a safe and enjoyable time on the water. They have a range of theory-based and practical (RYA) courses available. These are aimed at encouraging people to get to know the boating rules and regulation whilst gaining the skills and experience to keep safe.