Survivors located following capsize on Manukau Harbour   Date: Tuesday 24 November, 2015
Survivors located following capsize on Manukau Harbour

Summary:  Coastguard Radio received a Bar Crossing Report from a vessel crossing back into the Manukau Harbour after a day’s fishing at 1221 hours today, however at 1251 hours Coastguard took steps to raise the alarm when they failed to hear from the vessel to close their Bar Crossing Report and failed to raise them again on the VHF Marine Radio.

With the 6.5m powerboat now overdue Coastguard Volunteers were tasked by Police to begin a search for the missing vessel. Coastguard Rescue Vessels from Waiuku and Papakura responded to the search area along with Coastguard search aircraft and Police Eagle Helicopter.

Coastguard Operations Manager Ray Burge says “The vessel has been located up-turned in the water and all three people accounted for having made their way to shore wearing lifejackets that have undoubtedly saved their lives”.

“The skipper has done all the right things with everyone on-board wearing a lifejacket and logging a Bar Crossing Report before with Coastguard Radio before heading over the bar. This safety and information service provided free of charge by Coastguard saves lives and significantly reduces the response time of search and rescue services” says Mr Burge.

Weather conditions today on the often treacherous Manukau Bar were described by Coastguard Volunteers as 4m plus. A reminder to all boatie’s to check the marine weather forecast before heading out on the water and if in doubt, then don’t go out or in the case of crossing a bar don’t cross it and wait until conditions improve to do so safely.

With summer on the doorstep and the high water related fatality rate already this year Coastguard has been proactive in the delivery of a series of Bar Safety Seminars focused on giving boatie’s local knowledge and safety advice to help navigate some of the country’s most notorious bars safely. For more information or to become a member and get the best out of your boating safely visit or call 0800 BOATIE.

Key safety messages:

  1. Ensure that there is a life jacket for every person on board that is the correct size and fit.

  2. Before you go on the water, always tell someone trustworthy (and preferably Coastguard) where you are going and what your intentions are. If something should happen, it will make the search and rescue efforts more efficient - meaning help will reach you faster.

  3. Check the marine weather forecast before you launch. Coastguard’s NowCasting service offers free reliable and up-to-date information

  4. Avoid alcohol – safe boating and alcohol do not mix. Things can change quickly on the water and you need to stay alert and aware.

  5. All vessels should have a VHF radio as the primary means of communication. Make sure you always carry a charged up cell phone as a backup option and keep it safe in a water proof bag.

As the skipper, you are responsible for your vessel and all of the people on board at all times. Make sure all passengers have been given a safety briefing and know what to do in an emergency should anything happen to the skipper.