Two winched from boat wreck in Marlborough Sounds
Two people have been winched to safety after their boat hit rocks in the outer Marlborough Sounds.
The couple were stranded for 11 hours after their launch foundered on rocks below a steep cliff in Anakakata Bay, near Cape Jackson, on Thursday night.
A passing boat saw the man and the woman at 10.45am on Friday and raised the alarm on maritime radio .
Rescue Co-ordination Centre NZ senior search and rescue officer Mike Roberts said the cold and wet pair had no way to call for help.
"They've escaped with their lives. The boat was smashed to bits," he said.
The pair, from Marlborough, were airlifted to Wairau Hospital, in Blenheim, by the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter.
Pilot Barry McAuliffe said the coastline made it impossible to land, so the helicopter performed a low hover to let the medic off to inspect the pair.
The trio were then winched aboard the helicopter.
One man, 66, was treated for minor injuries, while the woman escaped uninjured.
The pair was very lucky to survive the ordeal, Roberts said.
"[They] ignored the safety basics. Learn from their example," he said.
"Always tell somebody ashore where and when you're going, and when you expect to be back.
"You've got to be prepared for emergencies. Everyone on board a boat less than 6 metres should wear a lifejacket at all times."
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- The Marlborough Express