Men rescued clinging to boat's hull

KIRSTY JOHNSTON
Last updated 20:32 29/06/2013

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A pair of boaties have been found clinging to the hull of their upturned vessel, while a third crew member was rescued floating nearby.

The two men found clinging to the hull were in a moderate condition, while the third man was in a more serious, but not critical, condition.

All three would be taken to Raglan via the Coastguard then transported to Waikato Hospital by ambulance.

Coastguard and a rescue helicopter discovered the boat, a 7m hard-top, west of Kawhia harbour at 8.15pm.

An emergency beacon aboard the vessel had been activated at 5.45pm, said Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) spokeswoman Sarah Brazil.

The beacon gave the boat’s location at 11 nautical miles west-north west of the entrance to the Kawhia Harbour. This is south of Raglan.

Coastguard and a Westpac Rescue helicopter from Auckland were called to assist the trio.

Coastguard spokeswoman Georgie Smith said their boat had come across the two men clinging to the overturned boat first, then managed to find the third person floating, without a lifejacket, nearby.

It was too early to determine the health of all three people, but it was believed they were not seriously harmed.

The crew on the boat had been fishing and were due home about 6pm.

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