• Sat. Oct 29th, 2022

The man had to be rescued after he was caught out without a life jacket and without a way to call ashore for help.

Apr 26, 2021

A man clinging to a pool noodle has been rescued from Wellington Harbour after the homemade dinghy he was in sank.
Police were alerted to the situation about midday on Monday when the mans mate, who had been with him in the boat, struggled 240 metres to shore at Mahanga Bay.
The Police Maritime Unit was deployed on the Lady Elizabeth IV and the man being kept afloat by the noodle was retrieved from the water about 12.40pm. Senior Constable Philip Elder of the Wellington Police Maritime Unit was part of the rescue operation and said the man was pulled from the water in hypothermic condition.
Only one of the men the one who swam ashore had been wearing a life jacket.
One of the men, wearing a life jacket, managed to swim to shore while the other hung onto a noodle.
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Sea conditions were rough with a 25 knot north-westerly wind and a metre-high swell.
Elder said the two men, who are in their 20s, ran into trouble when their fairly small homemade craft was swamped by waves.
While they were both obviously very keen, they had overlooked the basics in water safety, such as checking the forecast and having enough life jackets.
It did the trick, but its not ideal, he said of the pool noodles credentials as a life-preserving device.
The men were also without any form of communication onboard.
[They didnt even have] a cell phone, so were unable to signal their distress to anyone.
It helped that both men were young and fit, Elder said.
He said more inexperienced boaties were taking to the water, which he attributed to people being unable to travel as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and redirecting their attention to new pursuits.
Weve seen a number of rescues in which deficiencies in basic safety have been a problem.
Senior Constable Roscoe Lane said the men were very lucky and the incident was a timely reminder for boaties to be prepared before hitting the water.
Always wear a life jacket when boating or using any other craft on the water, a pool noodle is not sufficient,” he said.
Its a requirement to have a life jacket of the right size for everyone onboard and good to have two forms of communication if possible and tell someone where youre going and when youll be back.