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Boaties rescue desperate kayaker

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UPDATED 2.25PM: Pulling alongside a man clinging to his overturned kayak at sea, Mount Maunganui fisher Deb Posa immediately thought “This guy won’t last much longer”.

Deb, onboard ‘Songbird’ with father Des Southall and friend Sonja Crossman were fishing in front of Harrisons Cut, Papamoa when they heard cries for help from the man about 1.5km offshore.

Click the image above to watch the video

Police and St John check the man over after he is lifted from the boat.

Speaking to SunLive after the event, Deb says when they reached the man he was “basically hanging on for life”.

“I don’t think he would have lasted too much longer to be honest. The kayak was upside down and he was just clinging on to the side of it.”

Dragging him into their five metre outboard boat, the trio worked quickly to ensure he was as warm as possible before heading for land.

Deb says the kayak was fully equipped for fishing but they decided to leave the kayak at sea as the man’s health was more important.

“We were going to try and tow it in but it was going to slow us down.”

Police, Tauranga Coastguard and St John paramedics were informed of the incident about 12.20pm and met Songbird at Salisbury Wharf just after 1pm.

A reporter at the scene says the middle-aged man was lying in the boat, visibly shaking, when they arrived at the wharf.

He was helped out of the boat by paramedics and put onto a stretcher.

Deb says the trio returned to sea to locate the kayak but have been unsuccessful.

The man was taken to Tauranga Hospital where he is in a hypothermic condition.


A kayaker is in Tauranga Hospital in a hypothermic condition after being rescued from the sea near Harrisons Cut.

Police, Tauranga Coastguard and St John paramedics were called to the Papamoa Beach access after reports of a man in distress about 1.5 kilometres offshore.

Tauranga Coastguard operations manager Simon Barker says he has limited information but understands the man was out in a kayak.

A group of people in a boat called Songbird passed by the man, put him in the boat and got him back to shore, says Simon.

“He was very cold and possibly hypothermic so they were trying to get him back to shore.”

Police and St John paramedics met the boat at Salisbury Wharf where the man was transported to Tauranga Hospital.

The man is put on a stretcher.

Comments on SunLive

Reply - Rule 1

Posted on 13-09-2014 07:51 | By Ratepayer

Two drownings in my area related to a southerly blowing them way off shore. I have paddled about quite a bit and paddling into a stiff breeze to get home in mounting chop with following waves is very hard work. Never again! The possibility of being flipped out is too high.


Posted on 09-09-2014 12:51 | By How about this view!

Lucky man, that there was someone nearby.

Explain Rule 1

Posted on 08-09-2014 22:50 | By Ruff as Gutts

Why not fish in a southerly??

Rule 1

Posted on 08-09-2014 14:06 | By Ratepayer

Please, never go out in a southerly.

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