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'Marooned' Mount Maunganui surfer recounts long swim home after board vanished

A Mount Maunganui surfer is appealing to the public for help after he said he was "marooned" on a small island yesterday - forced to swim back to shore after someone made off with his surfboard.

Terrence Simmonds says he's lucky he is "a good swimmer" after paddling one-way to Motuotau Island, commonly known as Rabbit Island, to climb to the summit. 

When he returned from the hike, his surfboard had vanished, leaving him to swim several hundred metres back to shore.

"Could the gentlemen paddleboarder who returned from a paddle around Rabbit Island with an extra surfboard.. please get in touch with me," he requested in a Facebook post that was circulated widely in the area today. 

Mr Simmonds says says the leash was neatly placed at the centre of the board to make it look like it had been deliberately left there.

The paddleboarder probably thought the board had washed up on the small island near Banks Avenue, he speculates.

The board still hasn’t been returned, but Mr Simmonds says he’s sure it was an "honest mistake".

Mr Simmonds says he can see the funny side to the story, but would like it to have a happy ending - "especially with the surf being as good as it has been lately".

His board has High Voltage written on it, and the leash cord is green.

Terrence Simmonds had to swim back to shore after his surfboard was allegedly taken from Rabbit Island near Mount Maunganui.
Terrence Simmonds had to swim back to shore after his surfboard was allegedly taken from Rabbit Island near Mount Maunganui. Source: 1 NEWS