Mother nature delivered a timely reminder about the importance of never overloading your boat on Monday when a vessel flipped while collecting crayfish pots off the Whakatane coast.
Spotted bobbing in the water next to an overturned boat by the last vessel to return via the Whakatāne bar for the day, by the time the two occupants were found they had spent sometime in the water.
Both were disorientated when pulled aboard and treated by an ambulance on site.
Senior Maritime Officer Isaac Tait said had they not both been wearing lifejackets it’s likely this would have been a different story.
“This was a close call but the moral of the story is to never overload your boat with people or equipment and to always carry two forms of communication that work when wet. In this instance they hadn’t told anyone where they were going and when they expected to be back and once their cell phone got wet they had no way to call for help.”
“A big thanks to all of those who helped to retrieve the vessel” he says.
For information on how to be safe on the water visit www.boprc.govt.nz/harbourmaster