Family thankful for boaties' rescue

Last updated 19:14 11/02/2013

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The family of two men who were lost at sea for almost 24-hours are grateful the pair are home and safe.

Michael Ward, 72, and his son, 23-year-old John Ward had been due back at Mill Bay, Mangonui at 9pm last night, after setting out on a fishing trip in a 4.8-metre aluminium pontoon boat about 2pm yesterday.

Family alerted police when the men failed to return, and the Whangaroa Coastguard boat left Whangaroa Harbour about midnight to begin a coastline search.

The ship located the two men in their boat drifting 1.6 nautical miles offshore, northeast of the Tekura Rocks, at about 1.30pm, police said.

Nuu Ward, the wife of Michael, said it was a relief.

"They are home safe and we are indeed grateful to all the rescue people for their help."

Police said it appeared that the boat's outboard motor had broken down.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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