Northland news briefs: January 29

Dinghy overturns

A Search and Rescue alert was sparked when a dinghy being used by four divers overturned 1km off the coast near Whangaroa Harbour entrance. Two of the divers swam for shore while the others stayed with the upturned dinghy during yesterday afternoon's drama. A police communications spokesman said the incident did not require a major response but another vessel was sent out to tow in the capsized dinghy and pick up the divers.

Lifeguards in land duty

Mangawhai Heads Surf Lifesaving Club members usually deal with people who get into trouble in the water, but they had a change of pace yesterday when they responded to a call to help a man in his mid-40s who fell off a scooter at a property near the club headquarters. Lifeguards called an ambulance which took the man to Whangarei Hospital for treatment of head injuries.

Waka vessels converge

Once again it will be waka, waka everywhere off Te Tii beach on Waitangi Day. The annual waka pageant will include vessels from around New Zealand, along with international guests - First Nations Suquamish representatives from Seattle, America, and Dutch representatives from Leiden, Holland, and the Ainu people from Japan.

They will be training on the Nga Toki Matawhaorua which can hold 80 paddlers, says its kaihautu (captain) Joe Conrad.

- Northern Advocate

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