A four-year-old girl and her 44-year-old father were saved by two passersby after their kayak capsized at the mouth of the Tukituki River in Hawke's Bay.
Acting senior sergeant Mike Stevenson said it appeared the pair were trying to paddle across the estuary when their double kayak capsized, plunging them into the water at about 12.45pm today.
They were being swept out to sea before ending up stranded on a gravel island about 50m offshore from the river mouth at Haumoana.
The pair were not wearing lifejackets, he said.
A passerby used a longboard to paddle out and retrieve the young girl.
Another member of the public swam out to assist the man, and the pair were on the shore by the time ambulance arrived.
"There's been a fair bit of rain and the river, it's not swollen, but it's still a bit fast there's still a bit of water in the Tukituki," senior sergeant Dan Foley said.
An ambulance communications spokesman said a 4-year-old girl was suffering from mild hypothermia and was transported to Hawke's Bay Hospital in a moderate condition.
The kayak was swept out to sea.
- The Dominion Post