A 10-year-old boy was comforted by Coastguard volunteers after his father began having seizures, leading to a dramatic rescue in the Bay of Islands.

The boy and his 48-year-old father were fishing about 200m from Motuarohia Roberton Island yesterday when the man began to have seizures, Coastguard spokeswoman Georgie Smith said.

People on nearby boats, including a paramedic on board the Spirit of NZ vessel, came to the man's aid and contacted Coastguard about midday.

The man was transferred to Roberton Island, where the Northland Emergency Services Trust helicopter picked him up at 1pm and took him to Whangarei Hospital.


Ms Smith said Coastguard volunteers comforted the distressed 10-year-old, who was then taken by boat to Opua to meet his mother. She thanked people who had responded.

"Time is critical in these situations and to have those communications to Coastguard from the public meant we were able to get assistance there as quickly as possible," she said.

The 48-year-old man's condition was not known at the time of going to press.