Yesterday at 1.40pm Waiuku Coastguard received an urgent call out for a vessel that was overdue crossing the the Manukau bar, The crew on NZ Steel Rescue headed straight to Little Huia Boat Ramp to check if the vessel owners car and trailer were still there, after confirming this was the case, it was straight to the South channel of the Manukau bar. Last known position was the vessel was making a bar crossing inbound across the bar.
The Bar was pumping white water from one side to the other, with the swell punching in at 4 meters high. There was a small window to get through the bar, making searching in the bar impossible to do safely.
Once through the bar we carried out a search down to Hamilton’s Gap. With police eagle and Coastguard Air Patrol on scene we were tasked back inside the bar to speak with a vessel at 9 pin rock. This vessel had not seen any other boats that day on the bar.
Auckland Air Patrol then found the up turned vessel off Irwin’s gap. Heading back out through the Bar with Papakura Rescue 1 we were unable to get to the stricken vessel as it was in the surf line. Westpac arrived on scene, all 5 assets carried out a search for the 3 missing people. Westpac and police landed on the beach as the three fishermen completed their swim to shore. And then transported them fishermen to safety.
With all assets heading home it was a great feeling to have the 3 fishermen going back to their family.
A fantastic multi- agency response working together to produce a fantastic result.
And how important that Bar crossing call was to ensuring that coastguard knew this vessel was on the bar, therefore sending assets to start a search when the crossing was not closed.
The other highlight, was the ability for these 3 fishermen to make it to shore in those conditions. Showing just how important lifejackets are.
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