'Foolhardy' kayaker rescued after falling into Cook Strait
A paddler in what appeared to be a homemade kayak had to be rescued by maritime police after falling into Cook Strait at Owhiro Bay.
A witness said the man appeared to have no paddle, and only an inflatable paddle float, when he spotted him on Thursday morning.
Police said they were alerted about 11.30am that the man had fallen out of his kayak and was unable to get back in.
"He was attempting to swim to shore but was making no headway due to a strong offshore wind."
He was picked up by a maritime police rigid-hulled inflatable boat and taken back to Owhiro beach, where he was assessed by ambulance staff."
The witness said he had noticed the same kayaker braving Owhiro Bay two days earlier, during similarly poor weather.
"I had seen that same kayak, it's quite a distinctive one, a man paddling in Owhiro Bay in a reasonable swell. I thought, oh well – he's pretty brave."
The man had an inflated paddle float with him, which would usually be used along with a paddle to help get back into the boat.
"He didn't have a paddle, so obviously that's gone west, somewhere in Cook Strait.
"We're kayakers, and we wouldn't being going anywhere near the sea on a day like today."