16 November 2016

Mother nature delivered a timely reminder about the importance of never overloading your boat on Monday when a vessel flipped while collecting crayfish pots off the Whakatane coast. Spotted by the last vessel to return via the Whakatāne bar for the day, by the time they found the two occupants they had spent hours in the water.

Senior Maritime Officer Isaac Tait said had they not both been wearing lifejackets it’s likely this would have been a different story.

“They were seen bobbing in the water next to an upturned boat. Both were disorientated and when they made it to land were treated by an ambulance on site.”

“This was a close call but the moral of the story is to always carry two forms of communication that work when wet. In this instance they had neither and therefore no way to call for help. It didn’t help that they hadn’t told someone where they were going and when they expected to be back too.”  

“A big thanks to all of those who helped to retrieve the vessel” he says.

For information on how to be safe on the water visit www.boprc.govt.nz/harbourmaster