Trans-Tasman Sea Kayaker Airlifted to Safety

By George Backwell
Monday, July 14, 2014
A sea kayaker: File photo

Trans-Tasman kayaker Scott Donaldson has been successfully rescued from his kayak 83 kilometres off the Taranaki Coast, south-west of New Plymouth, says Maritime NZ.

The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand organised for the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter to fly to Scott’s location and winch him aboard.RCCNZ Senior Search and Rescue officer Kevin Banaghan says weather conditions were deteriorating, and Scott had declared to his support crew in the morning that his situation was unsafe.

Once on scene, the helicopter pilot talked to Scott by radio, then a swimmer from the rescue service went into the water.  Scott then jumped into the sea from his vessel; and both were safely winched into the helicopter.

“The team could not have done that safely later, in the dark, or with stronger winds and higher seas.  So it was important to carry out the rescue as soon as possible once Scott acknowledged he needed to be picked up,” Kevin Banaghan added.
 

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