A lifeguard who rescued a fisherman from his upturned boat says the incident is a warning to others.
Mangawhai Heads lifeguard Richard Kannemeyer and surfer Rick Panhuis rushed to help a fisherman whose boat flipped while trying to cross the Mangawhai Harbour entrance on November 10.
Waves up to three metres were breaking heavily across the entrance and Mr Kannemeyer says a number of boats had close calls earlier in the day. At 5.30pm the fisherman in a rigid hulled inflatable boat attempted to cross the bar and got caught by a large set of waves that flipped his boat and tipped him into the treacherous water.
Mr Kannemeyer was off-duty, but with Mr Panhuis he responded in an inflatable rescue boat.
Fellow lifeguard Jess Costello notified Surf Com via the rescue network which then contacted the Mangawhai Heads Volunteer Surf Lifeguard service after hours call out squad. The fisherman was sitting atop his upturned vessel and the rescuers managed to haul him back into their boat .
"He was fine, just a bit shaken," Mr Kannemeyer says.
"If you go out in your boat and then all of a sudden it flips and you're in the water, it's a bit of a shock."
Mr Kannemeyer says the boat was a hazard, with other vessels around.
It was severely damaged, but conditions were too dangerous to attempt a salvage.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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