21 June 2018
The New Zealand Defence Force came to the aid last night of two boaties who sent a mayday call after their nine-metre launch grounded on rocks off Waiheke Island.
Royal New Zealand Navy Captain Dave McEwan, the Maritime Component Commander, said offshore patrol vessel HMNZS Otago located the launch Firebird near Onetangi Bay, on the north coast of Waiheke Island, about half an hour after receiving the mayday call about 8pm. Otago was in the Hauraki Gulf for training at the time.
The skipper reported that the vessel had begun taking on water and that he and another person on board had fired flares.
Lieutenant Commander Lorna Gray, the Commanding Officer of Otago, said as soon as the ship reached the area one of its sea boats was launched, with engineering and medical personnel on board, to provide assistance.
They found the two men on the stranded vessel safe and well. They also checked the boat and found no significant damage, Lieutenant Commander Gray said.
“The engines were working and the skipper asked us to help tow their vessel away from the rocks,” she said.
“Together with the Coast Guard, we are pleased that we were able to help.”