Two South Taranaki boaties were plucked from the sea off Patea yesterday after their boat capsized near the bar at the rivermouth.
Senior Sergeant Thomas McIntyre said the pair, a father and daughter, got into trouble about 8.40am when they were trying to negotiate the rivermouth.
"As they were coming across the Patea bar, they have found it too rough and the boat has tipped over."
They were rescued by the South Taranaki Coastguard about an hour later, with the help of the Taranaki Community Rescue Helicopter.
Both were taken to Hawera Hospital and treated for mild hypothermia.
McIntyre said if the pair, a man in his 50s and a woman in her 30s, hadn't been wearing lifejackets "it was highly likely they would have drowned".
"They were in the water for about an hour," he said.
"And it wouldn't have been a success story about two people being rescued, it would be a story about still trying to find the bodies."
McIntyre said several people had alerted police, including a man who happened to be looking at a live camera feed that watches over the Patea rivermouth bar.
"He saw the boat capsize and was able to give us a good description and live information as to where these people were."
He said the capsizing also highlighted the need for boaties to carry personal locator beacons so emergency services could easily zero-in on their location.
"They were in the water and drifting quite quickly south, and ended up about a kilometre down the island."
Immediately after the Patea rescue, the Taranaki Community Rescue Helicopter was sent to Waiaua Hut on Mt Taranaki to help an injured tramper.
Marine volunteer rescue swimmer Mike Melody is now thought to be the only person to visit the hut dressed in a wetsuit and fins.
- Taranaki Daily News
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