The ''sheer stupidity'' of three Palmerston North men who went diving without sufficient safety equipment meant they had to be rescued when their boat drifted out to sea yesterday, police say.
The men were diving near Akitio Beach, 85 kilometres southeast of Dannevirke, when the small outboard motor on their inflatable craft seized and the boat went adrift.
The men had no anchor, life jackets, radios, cellphones, or locator beacons on board.
Police were alerted at 4.30pm and started searching for the boat, which had drifted out of sight of the people onshore.
The inflatable, with all three men on board, was located 5km out to sea at 5.15pm. The men were uninjured.
Police central district operations manager Inspector David White said strong northwesterly winds could have carried the men a long way out to sea.
"Sufficient preparation when undertaking boating activities is very important,'' he said.
''Heading out to sea without any life jackets, safety beacon, a radio, or a cellphone is just sheer stupidity.
"Your family, friends, and police want you home safely at the end of the day. Don't put your or your mate's lives at risk.''
White said the public needed to be responsible when taking part in boating activities this summer.
''Remember to take responsibility and take lifesaving equipment such as life jackets, a radio, and safety beacons on board when you're out on the water.''
- The Dominion Post