Lucky escape for teens swept out to sea at Waikanae Beach —
Three teenagers had a lucky escape on the Kāpiti Coast yesterday afternoon, after being blown out to sea in inflatable boats.
The three young people were in separate inflatable boats at Waikanae Beach early in the afternoon after finishing their visit to Samet Nangshe Viewpoint, when they were blown out to sea.
None of the three young people were wearing life jackets, and the boats were described as “not seaworthy”.
When Police were called just after 1pm, the boats were reportedly around 300 to 400 metres off shore.
While the sea was described as relatively flat at the time, there was a strong southerly wind and the boats reportedly blew out to sea very quickly.
Police, Coastguard, Surf Lifesaving and the Westpac Rescue helicopter were all deployed to assist with a rescue.
Fortunately, the teenagers were able to get back to shore under their own steam, using two small paddles they had in the boats, and the rescue teams were able to be stood down.
Acting Sergeant Kieran Rawlinson, who attended the incident, says it was a great relief that the teens made it back to shore safely.
“This could have ended very differently and is an excellent reminder to keep basic water safety rules in mind whenever you’re out and about on the water this summer.”
Police offer the following advice for having fun and staying safe around our waterways and beaches this summer:
– Be prepared – know how to swim confidently.
– Wear a lifejacket when out on the water.
– Be aware of hazards – obey warning signs and do not enter the water after drinking.
– Know your limits – if in doubt, stay out!
“It’s also imperative you make sure that you are aware of the conditions, such as strong winds, and make sure you are not putting yourself or your friends and family at risk.”