Police rescued a group of kayakers stranded on the Whirinaki River this morning.

Four people set off yesterday from Te Whaiti intending to kayak to Murupara when one of the group lost their paddles near the Hangarau Stream in the gorge section of the river.

They managed to get another kilometre down the river to where there was a small island and an old campsite before electing to abandon the expedition and sent one of their group on to seek assistance.

By the time Rotorua police were aware of the incident it was too dark for a rescue mission and with the mild overnight weather it was decided to delay until the morning.

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At first light members of the Rotorua Police Search & Rescue Squad were flown into the area by a Murupara based helicopter where the group were soon located and evacuated to Murupara none the worse for their experience.