Kayaking pupils rescued in harbour
Seven school pupils have been rescued in Wellington Harbour after they got into a spot of trouble while out kayaking.
The teenagers were part of a group of 15 pupils and two teachers from Horowhenua College. Maritime police say they got into a spot of trouble while trying to kayak back from Matiu/Somes Island to Petone.
The Levin teens, aged 15 and 16, had set out in fine conditions this morning but the weather turned as they tried to head back.
A teacher called for help using a VHS radio about 12.20pm and maritime police found them just before 1pm.
They were stuck just north of the island due to the 25 knot (46kmh) headwind, Senior Sergeant Dave Houston said.
"The weather in the harbour was marginal and the group has got out of their depth in terms of skill and experience."
Some managed to kayak back to shore in the single and double kayaks on their own. However seven tired pupils had to be taken aboard the maritime police vessel Lady Elizabeth IV, assisted by the Dominion Post Cobar Cat ferry, Houston said.
No-one was injured.
"They were obviously a bit cold and shaken but were happy to see us."
The instructors did everything right - keeping the teen kayakers, who were wearing life jackets, in close formation, and carrying emergency gear including flares and a radio.
"They have done the right thing by raising the alarm as soon as things looked uncertain and we've been able to locate them quickly."
Horowhenua College deputy principal Sharon Moerkerk said the group of year 12 pupils were learning kayaking skills as part of their outdoor education and the wind and currents had proven too strong for some.
"They will have learned a lot of things today," she said. "We are pleased they are safe and they did exactly what they needed to do."
Police advised Maritime New Zealand of the incident.
The Dominion Post