A group of fishermen who spent four hours drifting at sea eventually sparked a Coastguard rescue when one realised he was overdue for medication.
The call to the broken down boaties came in about 7pm yesterday and Coastguard left to find the men 10 minutes later.
Tauranga police acting senior sergeant Cam Anderson said the four men had not put down anchor and were drifting somewhere between Motiti Island and the mainland. One of the men was overdue for pain medication for a recently operated on ankle and was in distress when the party called in for help, he said.
"The 40-foot boat or launch has had engine trouble and was no longer going but was still floating. They hadn't considered putting an anchor down," Mr Anderson said.
The boat did not have a radio and was understood to have been drifting for about four hours as the men fished.
Mr Anderson urged boaties to have more than one form of communication on board.
"Have some contact numbers for Coastguard, even if it's just getting a sticker or joining up. Have appropriate equipment for a boat. If you are drifting, whether it be because of an emergency or you need a tow, put down something to stop, such as an anchor."