Tourists rescued from drifting boat
Three overseas visitors have been rescued after spending most of the night drifting in a boat in the Hauraki Gulf.
An 18 year-old American woman and two men, a 20-year old Belgian and 29-year old German, left Shelly Beach on the south side of Waiheke Island about 5.30pm in a cutter, police said.
Only one of them had sailing experience.
When they failed to return by midnight a friend raised the alarm, Waiheke Police sergeant Peter Knight said.
The police launch Deodar and coastguard searched the area but failed to find them, and police search and rescue and the Westpac Rescue Helicopter were put on standby for a daylight search this morning.
However, at 3.37am the trio were found by a fishing boat between Musick Point and Browns Island.
The mast had broken and they were drifting.
The Deodar met the fishing boat and took the trio and their boat to Kennedy Point, Waiheke Island.
"All three were wet and cold. No medical treatment was required," Knight said.