Five rescued from Waikato River

Last updated 23:11 13/06/2014

Relevant offers

Fieldays

Get Ahead - Fieldays - Young farmer has big future plans National Fieldays: Hunks line-up for Rural Bachelor event Fieldays eyes up red meat sector Record number of Ag Art Wear entries swells Fieldays runway Breaking new ground at Mystery Creek Hamilton rooms run out as Fieldays and FIFA collide 'You may well meet your wife' says Geraldine's rural bachelor Winner surprised and delighted Rural bachelors ready to find their match at Fieldays Clever ideas to see Fieldays light of day

Five men were rescued from the Waikato River tonight after the dinghy they were using to get from Fieldays capsized.

At least one of the men, found clinging onto the edge of the boat, was minutes away from being sucked under water, police said.

Their boat had become tangled in underwater debris near the Narrows bridge and capsized, forcing the men to cling to it for 40 minutes while it floated towards Hamilton city.

The men were spotted as they called for help, and a passer-by called 111.

None of the men were wearing life-jackets and they had been drinking alcohol before their journey, police said.

All of the men were suffering from hypothermia, and were treated by paramedics when they were back on dry land.

One of the men had become separated from the boat and was rescued by a waka crew training on the river. 

Three others were rescued by the police river rescue boat, deployed about 6pm, and the fifth man managed to get to the shore near Melville.

"These were mature men who could have taken steps to be safer on this occasion,’’ Sergeant Pete van de Wetering of Hamilton police said.

"It is questionable as to whether the boat was of adequate size to carry five men, especially with the current high river level and the fact it is running faster than normal due to this week's storm."

One or more of the men could have died in the accident, Van de Wetering said.


Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Special offers
Opinion poll

How would you rate the 2014 National Fieldays at Mystery Creek?

Loved it. The best yet.

On a par with others.

It is too big.

Too static. Needs more live displays.

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content