Man drowns while crayfishing

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Volunteers from the Napier Coastguard work to bring the upturned boat ashore at Westshore, Napier. Photo / Hawkes Bay Today
Volunteers from the Napier Coastguard work to bring the upturned boat ashore at Westshore, Napier. Photo / Hawkes Bay Today

A 63-year-old man drowned north of Napier after his boat flipped on a crayfishing trip yesterday.

He was one of two men that left Napier at about 3pm on Saturday and were expected to return at about 6pm.

Family members contacted police at about 10pm and the Hawke's Bay Coastguard and the Low Corporation Rescue Helicopter responded.

The upturned 5.8m alloy aluminum boat was located by the rescue helicopter near
rocks about 5km north of Waipatiki Beach.

The body of the 63-year-old male was located on nearby rocks and a 65-year-old man was located alive on the beach.

He was flown to Hawke's Bay Hospital, treated for hypothermia and later released.

The Rescue Helicopter recovered the man's body this morning.

"It appears that the men were not wearing life jackets when the boat flipped suddenly throwing the men into the water," Senior Sergeant Luke Shadbolt said.

He said the boat was well equipped with life jackets and safety equipment.

"It is a tragedy when an afternoon of recreational fishing ends in tragedy and shows the importance of wearing life jackets at all times as incidents like this can develop very quickly."

The matter has been referred to the Coroner.

The Coastguard is expected to recover the boat today.

Do you know more? Contact news@hbtoday.co.nz

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