Two men who had to be rescued by kayak in the Bay of Islands were "uncooperative and unappreciative" of police efforts to make sure they were alright.
The men were out fishing after an afternoon drinking in Paihia yesterday when their dinghy collapsed, stranding them in the water.
It was not known how the dinghy they were in collapsed.
Dusty Miller, who owns the nearby Beachside Holiday Park, heard their calls for help and immediately sprang into action.
"One of our customers called out and said there's some people yelling out in the bay.
"I jumped in a kayak with extra lifejackets, paddled out to them about 500m, gave them a lifejacket and pulled them back to shore."
Downplaying his efforts, Mr Miller said he didn't think twice about helping.
"It's a natural response. There were people in trouble so you go out and help them."
The men, who Mr Miller thought were in their early 20s, were trying to make it back to shore but one had already started to become hypothermic and was getting into trouble, he said.
"One of them was very grateful [to be rescued] - he was pretty convinced he was going to drown."
One man was taken to Bay of Islands hospital around 6.30pm but his condition was not serious, said a St John spokeswoman.
Despite appearing grateful to Mr Miller, police said when they tried to talk to the men one of them ran away.
"He was uncooperative and unappreciative of officers' attempts to help him," said Inspector Ricky Whiu.