Sunday, May 03, 2009

Whangaparaoa Peninsula

Here's a nice news for a Sunday morning from the New Zealand tvnz:

Five people were rescued off the Whangaparaoa Peninsula after a wave threw them out of their boat on Sunday afternoon.

The man and four children were fishing by Wellington Reef when a large wave caught them unawares, tossing them out of their aluminium boat into the sea.

Marine rescue was notified and radioed other boaties in the area. Two boats went to the scene and one took the children on board while the other rescued the man.

No one was injured and all the boaties were wearing lifejackets.

For us who are not New Zealanders, here's the location and a scenery from the Whangaparaoa Peninsula:
Large or freaque waves can happen in a peaceful place like this! Wearing lifejacket is something can not be over-emphasized. By the way, last Tuesday in Ensenada when we were on the boat out to sea, everyone was being put on a lifejacket when we came onboard. May be because that was going to be a rough ride. But it was great! Besides, it was quite cool out there, someone commented that the lifejacket kept us a little warmer also.


Here's some details of what happened reported in New Zealand Herald along with this picture showing they all were wearing lifejackets:
One moment, Whangaparaoa real estate agent Alan Morton-Jones and his four sons were enjoying their last day of fishing before colder winter weather sets in.

Then a "freak wave" hit their 3.6m aluminium boat, capsizing it and throwing the group overboard, leaving the youngest boy, Daniel, 8, trapped underneath, off the Whangaparaoa Peninsula about 2pm yesterday.

Police are praising the group for wearing lifejackets - a fact they say may have prevented further devastation on an already tragic weekend on which two men drowned in separate accidents near Maraetai in Manukau City and near Whangarei.

The Morton-Jones boys - four of the family's seven children - said they were travelling at 5 knots with two fishing lines out trawling for kahawai in relatively calm conditions when the swell hit them suddenly.

"The wave just changed in an instant and rolled us over," said Mr Morton-Jones, 42, still shocked by how quickly it occurred.

The boys said they sometimes complained about their Dad making them wear lifejackets.

"I'll never complain about wearing a lifejacket again - ever," said Michael, 13.

Added Daniel: "You've got to be a complete idiot if you're not wearing a lifejacket."

Daniel was trapped under the boat for about a minute. Because the craft is small and had an in-built flotation device to stop it sinking, he was able to be pulled out quickly.

The other boys - Michael, Christopher, 12, and Timothy, 10 - were able to hang on to the side of the boat before being picked up by nearby boaties.

Mr Morton-Jones and his sons said they were extremely grateful to the boaties and to the police maritime unit who came to their aid.

The boys said they remained calm during the rescue but the shock of what could have happened set in later.

The boys lost their fishing rods but were grateful to have one another.

The boat, which was righted by the police launch Deodar II and towed to safety, is also fine but will need its engine cleaned.

What a great father that taught his sons the simple practical things to observe the safety basics, the sons are certainly going to remember it all their life. A real admirable family indeed.


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