1 Dec 2016

Rescue after boat capsizes on Waikato harbour bar

2:06 pm on 1 December 2016

A boat carrying four people on a fishing trip capsized on the Kawhia Harbour bar in Waikato this morning.

The four had set out at 6.40am on a 5.3m boat. It was hit by a wave, causing it to break down, and a second wave overturned it.

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Photo: Google Maps

The fishing group had logged their intention to cross the bar with the Coastguard, which sent help when it lost contact with the boat.

Spokesperson Georgie Smith said a member of the public went to the area by boat and found one person in the water.

"He pulled that person from the water and quickly located two people on shore."

A fourth person was found on rocks nearby.

All those on board were wearing lifejackets.

The rescue comes less than a week after seven people died, and another is presumed dead, after trying to cross the bar in the Kaipara Harbour.

"What happened this morning is a reminder of how dangerous bar crossings can be," Senior Sergeant Damion Rangitutia said.

Those on board during the capsize today had taken the precaution of having two forms of communication - a VHF radio and mobile phones - along with wearing lifejackets.

Logging with the coastgard that they were going to cross the bar enabled a rapid emergency response, Senior Sergeant Rangitutia said.

The capsized vessel has not been recovered.

Police said it might pose a marine hazard and asked boaties to be aware and contact the harbourmaster or coastguard to get the latest updates.