Waka Ama crew in difficulty, off-course rescued in South Auckland

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1 NEWS

A six-person Waka Ama crew were rescued after they got into in trouble and off-course in the Papakura Channel in South Auckland tonight.

Waka regatta.

Source: 1 NEWS

Police say they were called to reports of the crew in difficulty at about 7.36pm.

Three, six-person Waka Ama crews had gone out earlier in the evening but one had not returned.

The missing crew were located some time later, and three of the crew were wearing lifejackets, but the other three crew members were not.

Shortly after 8pm, the Police Eagle helicopter and the Police Maritime Unit were called to assist with the rescue, along with the Auckland Airport hovercraft, when the crew were approximately 500 metres from shore.  

Once rescued, the crew members were assessed at the scene by medical staff. 

"This incident highlights the importance of water safety and being prepared for rapidly changing conditions - it could have been a very different outcome if we hadn't had staff ready to locate them," said Auckland Metro shift Inspector, Jason Greenhalgh.

"It's a shame that not all had been wearing lifejackets," he said.

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