A young man has had a lucky escape after becoming stuck off the Mana Coast following an overnight trip across the Cook Strait in a dinghy.
At around 10pm yesterday, the 18-year-old started out from the Kenepuru Sound and went through the Pelorous Sounds in a motored dingy before crossing the Cook Strait.
At around 9am this morning the man, unsure exactly of his location, he contacted the Harbour Master alerting that he had broken down off the Mana Coast.
Police were able to geo-locate him from his cell phone and found that he was around 12 kilometres west of Mana Island. A Westpac helicopter attended and directed Police to his location.
The man was in a reasonably good condition, slightly cold but not hypothermic and was brought back to shore by Police.
While this was a good outcome and no one was injured, we’d like to remind people the Cook Strait is a dangerous stretch of water, Senior Sergeant Dave Houston says.
You need to have all proper safety equipment and be an experienced and capable seaman if you are going to make this coastal voyage.
The conditions overnight were rough for a small dingy.
While, the man did have a life jacket on and carried his cell phone, he had not checked the weather conditions and was not an experienced seaman.
Everybody going out on the water needs to remember to wear a lifejacket, check the conditions and only go out if it is calm and go out in daylight.
“If it wasn’t for him ringing and us being able to locate him from his phone data it could have been a very different outcome,” Senior Sergeant Houston says.
“The battery on his cell phone was becoming flat. If we didn’t have the mobile locate we would have had a massive search. The mobile locate, literally saved his life.”
Issued by Police Media Centre