Firefighters who helped rescue five people from a capsized boat on Tuesday night, say they're lucky to be alive.
Fire and Emergency was notified by the police that a group of five boaties was in trouble in the middle of Whangape Harbour, near Hokianga, at 10pm.
Paekakariki firefighter and surf lifeguard Aaron Richardson was staying in Ahipara when he was called into action.
He said the boaties had luck on their side as the weather conditions were against them.
"They were pretty lucky, either way you put it - with life jackets or without because it was an outgoing tide. I believe the bar is really strong.
"It appears they weren't wearing life jackets. The Westpac rescue helicopter even sighted life jackets in the water."
The Ahipara Volunteer Fire Brigade's chief fire officer Dave Ross said they had to act quickly when they heard about the capsizing.
He said they couldn't have asked for a better outcome.
"Absolute relief. It's the best outcome ever. Injuries to the people rescued, but no injuries to our people. Everybody returned to shore and everybody smiling."
Jonty Mills from Water Safety New Zealand said he was glad it had been a good outcome this time, but things could have been different.
He said often boats do have lifejackets on board, but passengers don't wear them.