Police say wild weather kayak trip home 'stupid'

01:28, Jun 10 2014

Police have called a Northland man "stupid" after he attempted to kayak home from work in wild weather.

The 62-year-old was rescued after spending nearly seven hours afloat last night when his kayak was blown out to sea in strong winds.

About 6.30pm, the man left work from the oil refinery at Marsden Point to kayak across the Whangärei Harbour to his home in Reotahi.

Three hours later, police were alerted when he had not returned home.

With the assistance of the Whangärei Coastguard and the Northland Emergency Services Trust Helicopter, a search was started around the Whangärei Harbour area.

At 1am he was located safe and well about 1.5 kilometres off the coast near Ruakaka Beach.


Northland Police Search and Rescue's Senior Sergeant Cliff Metcalfe said the actions of the man were bordering on "stupid" and he placed rescuers lives at risk when they went to look for him.

"There was already a weather warning in place for Northland with heavy rain, gale force winds and atrocious conditions on the water."

Metcalfe said the man was pushed out of the harbour by the strong wind and out going current and was extremely lucky to be found.

"This incident is a reminder that people need to check the weather conditions before they go out in a boat. People also need to take some form of communication, such as a cell phone or marine radio so they can let others know if they get into trouble," he said.

Fairfax Media