Wrecked boaties lucky to be alive

01 September 2017

Two very lucky boaties have been rescued from Cape Jackson in the Marlborough Sounds where they were stranded after their 10 metre launch was wrecked on rocks.

The wet and cold pair had been stranded on the rocks for eleven hours with no way to call for help. Their lifejackets were found on the beach.

A passing boat saw the pair and raised the alarm with Maritime Operations Centre (MOC, maritime radio) who passed it to Rescue Coordination Centre NZ this morning at 10.45 am.

RCCNZ tasked Garden City Helicopters, Nelson who ended the pair’s ordeal, plucking them from the rocks. The rescued man and woman are now being checked at Blenheim Hospital.

Beveridge Reef
Garden City Helicopters © 2018

“They’ve escaped with their lives. The boat was smashed to bits,” says Senior Search and Rescue Officer Mike Roberts.

“This pair ignored the safety basics. Learn from their example, if you’re heading out on the water. Take two waterproof ways to communicate - preferably a marine VHF radio and a distress beacon and wear your lifejacket. Know your limitations and those of your vessel.

“Always tell somebody ashore where and when you’re going, and when you expect to be back.

“You've got to be prepared for emergencies. Everyone on board a boat less than 6 metres should wear a lifejacket at all times. Most accidents occur suddenly, with no warning,” Mike says.

“There may be no time to grab a lifejacket, and it’s extremely difficult to put on a lifejacket in the water. Many boaties drown less than 200 metres from shore.”

Notes for editors

The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) is New Zealand’s national search and rescue organisation. RCCNZ is responsible for a search and rescue region which covers 30 million square km stretching from Antarctica almost to the equator. .

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