15 Dec 2015

Police hit out at boatie who sparked search

2:46 pm on 15 December 2015

Police are criticising the actions of an inexperienced boatie at the centre of a four-hour search in waters off Northland.

They said they got a call about midnight from a man who had jumped into his dinghy after his yacht ran onto rocks at the entrance to Mangawhai Harbour.

He gave searchers the wrong instructions about where he was, and it took several false attempts before he was eventually found and taken to Whangarei Hospital with severe hypothermia.

The police said the man had never owned a boat and had sailed north on his own without knowing how to operate the vessel or the emergency equipment on board.

He also did not have a lifejacket, and had been drinking.

They said it was an idiotic thing to do and took up a lot of people, resources and time.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs