Press Release – New Zealand Police
It was a busy weekend for police search and rescue staff.
It began with a sea rescue in the early hours of Saturday morning. Police received a call about 4.30am that a yacht had run onto rocks at North Cape.
The Auckland man, who was sailing the yacht to Houhora, had abandoned the boat and had set off his EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon).
The Northland Emergency Services Trust (NEST) Electricity Rescue Helicopter was sent to the area and managed to winch the man to safety.
Later on Saturday afternoon, about 3.30pm, Police received another call that a man, who had been drinking, had fallen at the Mermaid Pools at Matapouri and broken his ankle. He had been fishing with three other men.
Due to the slippery conditions on the track leading out from the pools, the man had to be airlifted out by the NEST Electricity Rescue Helicopter.
About an hour later Police were alerted to two divers, a man and a woman, who went missing while diving at the Poor Knight Islands. They had been diving at the Northern Arch of the islands.
The NEST Electricity Rescue Helicopter was sent to the scene and spotted the divers’ survival sausage balloons. They had been caught in a strong current and had drifted two kilometres north of where they entered the water
On Sunday about 2pm Police were called after a 67-year-old woman broke her ankle while tramping on the McKenzie Limestone Track at Springfield, south of Whangärei. The woman had been tramping with a group of 11 others when she hurt her ankle.
Police Search and Rescue staff went to the track and carried the woman out on a stretcher.
Northland Police Search and Rescue Head Senior Sergeant Clifford Metcalfe said while it was a busy weekend for staff, many of the people who needed rescuing had gone out well-equipped.
The yachtie who ran aground was very well prepared with emergency gear, including good communication equipment, and had informed people of where he was sailing.
“The divers were experienced and had rescue sausages, so we were able to find them quickly.”
Mr Metcalfe also praised the tramping group for having some form of communication (cellphone) and being equipped with enough gear for an emergency such as warm and wet weather clothing and a thermal blanket.
“Having all the necessary equipment and some form of communication not only helps us locate people easily, it also prevents an emergency situation turning into a tragedy.”