Posted by on 08/01/2014
Police Search & Rescue, the Coastguard, volunteer fire brigade and Pauanui surf club members worked together yesterday afternoon to rescue four people who abandoned ship after a large vessel caught fire off Pauanui.
The boat lost power to its engine and was reported to be on fire and taking on water.
Waikato Police Shift Supervisor, Senior Sergeant Dave Litton said, "There were four people aboard the vessel which was about 500m off shore. Fortunately it was well equipped with life jackets and communications equipment and the occupants abandoned ship into a dingy after raising the alarm both by cell-phone and radio.
Emergency services in the area responded and the fire was able to be contained and the boat was able to make it to shore shadowed by a Coastguard vessel.
Mr Litton said the Pauanui incident highlighted the importance of having the means to communicate with emergency services should your vessel get into difficulty.
At about 4pm fire-fighters were called to assist a man in a homemade boat who got into difficulty on Tairua Harbour when he got his leg trapped in his wooden boat.
"The man had asked for fire-fighters to bring a chainsaw and his boat was assisted to shore where the man was freed."