Three teenagers had what police describe as a "lucky escape" on the Kāpiti Coast this afternoon, after being blown out to sea in inflatable boats.
Police say the three young people, whose ages were not given, were in separate inflatable boats at Waikanae Beach early this afternoon, when they were all blown out to sea.
According to police none of the those on the inflatables were wearing life jackets, and the boats were described as "not seaworthy".
Police were called to the incident just after 1pm, when the boats were around 300 to 400 metres off shore.
Despite calm seas, 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 have offered 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," Sergeant Rawlinson says.