Press Release – New Zealand Police
Police name two deceased on Manukau Bar
Waitemata Police can name the two deceased in the Manukau Harbour following a boating incident on Monday afternoon as Terangi Woonton (59) and Kairangi Samuela (53). Three others, aged 34, 49 and 47 are being treated in hospital.
The deaths have been referred to the Coroner.
The five had been fishing in a five metre aluminium boat which launched via the boat ramp at Onehunga. Upon returning from the trip at around 2:00pm, they encountered large waves at the Manukau Bar. The boat was upturned and all five men entered the water. All five were wearing life jackets.
Another boat was passing, heading toward Whatipu Bay, and came to the assistance of the five men in the water.
This was at approximately 4:00pm.
The passing boat collected the three survivors who were treated by attending ambulance officers and the Westpac Rescue Helicopter at Little Huia Bay. They also collected the two deceased from the water and also took them to Little Huia Bay, where Police took over the operation.
Detective Sergeant Alisse Robertson says that there is no doubt that these members of the public saved three lives.
“The effort this group put in to rescue the three survivors and recover the two bodies is outstanding,” she says. “Their heroic work should not go unmentioned.
“This is a tragic incident to have occurred for these men and their families. We are doing everything we can to support these families at this time,” says Detective Sergeant Robertson.
Police Coastal Master at the Auckland Police Maritime Unit, Senior Constable Garry Larsen, says that bar crossings can be dangerous if appropriate precautions are not made.
“In the right conditions, crossing the Manukau Bar isn’t a problem,” he says. “However there are things all boaties need to keep in mind, such as the power of the water compared to the power of your boat and the level of the water as it crosses the bar. In an area like the Manukau Bar, the swell can reach speeds of up to 20 knots.
“One thing we recommend when making a bar crossing is to log your position with Coastguard. Additionally if your skipper isn’t experienced with bar crossings it can be a good idea to get some advice from Coastguard or boaties who are local to the area.”
The boat has not been recovered from the Manukau Bar.