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Sea rescue saves three lives off Kapiti Island....
April 2013

Three divers were rescued off Kapiti Island today in conditions that could have been fatal if not for a collective rescue from local boaties and professionals.

Inspector Chris Tate from Wellington police said the two men and a woman, were reported missing this morning off Kapiti Island, but were found safe and well about 2pm.

Rob Faulke from the Mana Coastguard said the divers had been found about five kilometres south-west of Tarere Mango Point, at the south end of Kapiti Island.

The North to South current through the Rau-te-o-Rangi channel between the mainland and Kapiti Island was running like a fast river today with the full moon influence on the tides. Anyone at sea in that water would have swiftly been swept straight into Cook Strait today.

The Westpac rescue helicopter and police boats were involved in the search around the Kapiti Island area after the trio were reported overdue. The divers had been last seen at midday about 50metres from Tarere Mango Point, at the south end of Kapiti Island.

Mana coastguard and police requested assistance from boats in the area to find the divers.
Sharon Trueman of Coast Guard Waikanae said "What a great outcome to have no lives lost when three divers are missing for over an hour when the call came in."
She said an impressive number of 11 private boaties made their way to the search area. Ms Trueman said the radiowaves were overwhelmed with offers of help and everyone who could came to assist.

Several organisations helped in the operation. The rescue helicopter, the coastguard's fixed wing plane, several coastguard boats, inflatatable rescue boats from nearby surf lifesaving clubs, and several private boats searched the area south of Kapiti Island.

The divers did not need any medical attention when found.

Inspector Simon Perry said the trio were diving in a group of five, and an extensive search was under way quickly when they did not return.

"The group was well prepared and equipped, and it looks like they were caught by the outward tide.

"The police were pleased that the group was quickly located, Mr Perry said.

"Divers who are using this area need to maintain their situational awareness and ensure they keep their support vessel within sight."

A member of the Paraparaumu Boating Club Rescue said "Two learner divers with a trainer from 'Dive Kapiti' did everything right and it saved their lives, they stayed together, they were equipped with orange inflatable sight devices."


 
Comments
J Appleseed (added 216 weeks ago)
Just wondering what an experienced dive training compnany were doing anywhere near Cook Strait today with learners. The sun may have been shining but the tide was sheer hell and a challenge to the most experienced boaties.
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