Coastguard Maketu: Kayaker lucky to be alive
A kayaker is lucky to be alive today after volunteers from Coastguard Maketu plucked him from large waves and cold water on the Maketu Bar on Saturday afternoon.
Coastguard Maketu volunteers were about to head out on their rescue vessel around 3pm, when a passer-by yelled out of their car window that someone had capsized on the Maketu Bar.
Other members of the Coastguard unit ran out to the end of the groin where local fishermen had seen the man fall out of his kayak and had called the police. They quickly spotted the kayaker and could see the grave danger he was in.
“The man was about 30 to 40 metres away from his kayak,” says Coastguard Maketu President, Shane Beech. “The outgoing force of water over the bar meant he was trapped in the surf break and getting hammered by the waves.
“There was no way he could swim to safety, he was in desperate trouble,” says Shane.
Meanwhile with six crew on board their rescue vessel, Eastpack Rescue, Coastguard Maketu volunteers quickly launched from the jetty and set out for the bar, reaching the man in mere minutes.
He was pulled from the surf in bad shape - extremely cold and having swallowed a lot of water. The Coastguard volunteers quickly set to work removing his wet clothing and communicating with their crew members on land to request an ambulance to meet them and take the kayaker to hospital.
“Another couple of minutes and I think it would have been a very different outcome this afternoon,” says Shane. “This is a rescue our volunteers can be very proud of, there is no doubt they saved a life today.”