Wellington Police's Maritime Unit is urging all water recreation enthusiasts to check the weather forecasts before setting out to sea after 17 rescues since 1 January.
Sergeant Dave Houston says it has been a busy time for police and Coastguard staff since the New Year with rescues including: • towing broken down or sinking craft • recovering tired swimmers • searching for missing divers who have resurfaced some distance from their boat • retrieving kayakers who have tipped out • helping others including some people in an inflatable toy raft who have been battling the wind.
Police and Coastguard had six callouts over the weekend including the call for help from the two-person crew of the catamaran Serene. The catamaran got caught yesterday morning in the Karori rip and started to break up.
A Bluebridge ferry responded to the Mayday call and brought the man and woman on board to Wellington. Police and the Cook Strait Cable protection boat Sea Patroller towed wreck to Titahi Bay as it was a risk to other maritime users and the Cook Strait power cable.
"It's really important that everyone checks weather forecasts before they stick their toes and craft in the water," Sergeant Houston says. "If the conditions sound bad they will be bad so don't risk your life or those of your friends."
Boaties should carry a marine vhf radio with them as this helps ensure a quick rescue if things do go wrong. Divers are also reminded to use the orange safety sausage if they strike trouble, and for dive boats to fly the Alpha dive flag alerting other craft that divers are in the area.
Released by Kaye Calder,
Wellington Police District Communications Manager
tel 04 496 3464 or 0274 373 020