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Daughter's insistence about phone helped in rescue

CARALISE TRAYES
Last updated 05:00 16/01/2014

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A fisherman in a dinghy who lost his fight with the wind and Kaipara Harbour tides had to be winched out of mangroves by the Westpac rescue helicopter.

Last Thursday afternoon a Henderson man in his 50s launched his dinghy from Shelly Beach but failed to return.

His wife reported him overdue at 7.15pm and Kaipara Coastguard responded.

"There was a trailer at the Shelly Beach ramp. We started our search and located him on the radar within minutes," rescue vessel master and Coastguard Kaipara president Iain Gulliford says.

"His engine broke when he was out in the harbour and he couldn't row against the tide and wind, so he was blown over to the mangroves on the other side of the harbour."

The man's mobile phone helped the search team find him.

"Unfortunately, because of the outgoing tide we couldn't get in the mangroves ourselves so called for assistance from the police helicopter. The chopper landed on a nearby beach, but couldn't reach him either. So we called Westpac rescue helicopter," Mr Gulliford says.

"They winched him out of his boat and dropped him off at Shelly Beach. He was mildly hypothermic but OK to go home."

Mr Gulliford was pleased to learn the man was wearing a lifejacket and had a cellphone.

"His daughter insisted he took his phone - he owes her for that one. He was only wearing a T-shirt and shorts though, and no food or water."

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