At about 7.36pm on Wednesday, 13 September 2017 Police were called to reports of a Waka Ama crew in trouble and off-course in the Papakura Channel, Auckland.
Three, six person Waka Ama crews had gone out earlier in the evening but one had not returned. The missing crew were located some time later, and three of the crew were wearing life-jackets, however the other three crew members were not.
Shortly after 8pm, Eagle helicopter and the Police Maritime Unit were called to assist with the rescue, along with the Auckland Airport hovercraft, when the crew were approximately 500 metres from shore.
Auckland Metro shift Inspector, Jason Greenhalgh says “This incident highlights the importance of water safety and being prepared for rapidly changing conditions – it could have been a very different outcome if we hadn’t had staff ready to locate them. It’s a shame that not all had been wearing life jackets.”
The crew members were assessed at the scene by medical staff.