Divers lucky after fuel runs out

A Mayday call alerted Nuhaka police officer Craig Henneker to the plight of six divers whose boat had run out of fuel.

He said this week the divers were lucky to be alive.

Constable Henneker received a Mayday call on rescue radio channel 16 at 3pm on Friday.

Using his own boat, Constable Henneker and local fire chief Bruce Hedley went in search of the crew.

“The Mayday call said they were out of fuel, but they didn’t respond when asked for a location.

“They didn’t have a cellphone on board so there was no other way of contacting them or searching their GPS signal.

“It was like a needle in a haystack trying to find them.”

Constable Henneker said he spotted their 5m Ramco aluminium boat off the coast of Long Point.

“They were out of fuel and had dropped anchor to stop them from drifting down the coast.

“Two crew members had attempted to swim to shore for help.”

The two swimmers were found on a rock, 200m offshore from Kinikini Point.

“They were buggered. They had been swimming against the tide and into the wind. They were very cold, and one of them had started to cramp up.

“They weren’t capable of swimming to our boat.”

Constable Henneker said it was a good learning exercise for them, and a reminder for all boaties.

“Make sure your boat is safe and seaworthy. Take twice the amount of fuel you think you’ll need for your trip.

“And take a cellphone,” Constable Henneker said.

A Mayday call alerted Nuhaka police officer Craig Henneker to the plight of six divers whose boat had run out of fuel.

He said this week the divers were lucky to be alive.

Constable Henneker received a Mayday call on rescue radio channel 16 at 3pm on Friday.

Using his own boat, Constable Henneker and local fire chief Bruce Hedley went in search of the crew.

“The Mayday call said they were out of fuel, but they didn’t respond when asked for a location.

“They didn’t have a cellphone on board so there was no other way of contacting them or searching their GPS signal.

“It was like a needle in a haystack trying to find them.”

Constable Henneker said he spotted their 5m Ramco aluminium boat off the coast of Long Point.

“They were out of fuel and had dropped anchor to stop them from drifting down the coast.

“Two crew members had attempted to swim to shore for help.”

The two swimmers were found on a rock, 200m offshore from Kinikini Point.

“They were buggered. They had been swimming against the tide and into the wind. They were very cold, and one of them had started to cramp up.

“They weren’t capable of swimming to our boat.”

Constable Henneker said it was a good learning exercise for them, and a reminder for all boaties.

“Make sure your boat is safe and seaworthy. Take twice the amount of fuel you think you’ll need for your trip.

“And take a cellphone,” Constable Henneker said.

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