Boaties – the right gear can save your life [+ photo]

Friday, 22 February 2019 – 1:29pm

Tasman Police are reminding boaties to make sure you’ve got the right equipment on board before heading out on the water.

About 9am today, a group of boaties were taken by surprise when their boat overturned in the water off the coast of Marahau, near Adele Island.

The four men had been distracted by a large fish, and in their enthusiasm to look at it they unbalanced the vessel, which flipped.

Police Search and Rescue co-ordinated a marine response, which included the Harbour Master and commercial vessels, and the group was picked up by a mussel harvester.

Constable David Cogger of Tasman Search and Rescue says the group was lucky to be found, given there was initially difficulty pinpointing their location.

“The group managed to keep one cell phone dry to make an emergency call, however they were extremely lucky to have managed this.

“A grab-bag containing a GPS, marine radio and some flares would have greatly assisted them and helped speed up the search and rescue operation.

“It was only after Police and Maritime New Zealand related a mayday that other vessels were able to come to their assistance – this kind of delay can be the difference between life and death.

“It’s a timely reminder for boaties, especially if you’re heading out into a remote location, to have the appropriate emergency and communication gear on board. 

“This gear can save your life if you get into trouble.

“We’d like to thank those crew aboard the mussel harvester, Platinum , who stopped their workday and responded – without their help today things could have turned out quite differently.”

None of the four men were injured in the incident.

The boat was recovered using the mussel harvester’s crane [pictured] and towed back to Motueka by the Harbour Master.


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