Maketū's Coastguard volunteers have potentially saved the lives of two men stranded out at sea on a jetski.
The alarm was raised on Friday around 5pm when the father of one of them called Maketū Coastguard.
''My son and a friend are on a jet ski out at sea, 4km out off the stream beside the Ōtamarākau Marae'' was the message the Coastguard received.
''The motor has broken down, their cell phone battery has just gone flat, please rescue them urgently."
The men, in their early 20s, left from the Pukehina Bar on the jetski earlier in the day.
They had one cell phone with flat batteries, no VHF radio, no emergency position-indicating radio beacon, no flares and weren't sure how to use the GPS chart plotter.
The tide on the Kaituna Bar was dead low with no water on the bar, but the crew on rescue boat EastPack Rescue had no option but to cross the bar and head down the coast, says Coastguard president Shane Beech.
''In no time it was pitch black out at sea with no moon or stars.''
With very little information, skipper Andy McCrae manned the helm and set up a
"Creeping Line Ahead" search pattern.
Maketū Coastguard spokesman Geoff Oliver said it was a very large search area and the crew had to work out the drift patterns to carry out the search patterns.
Crewman Deon Muir was on the foredeck using night vision goggles and Dean Lindsay was on the back deck. There was a cold northeast wind blowing,
While the EastPack Rescue crew went about their search, back on land search co-ordinator Murray Whitehead placed a rescue helicopter on standby along with Maketū
Coastguard's second boat called Kohinui Rescue,
''We had a another crew of four preparing to depart,'' says Shane.
Coastguard rescue boats and crews from Tauranga and Whakatāne were also put on standby
Every 15 minutes the crew of EastPack Rescue would stop and turn off the motor and yell, then listen for a response.
On the third stop the crew thought they could hear a voice responding and Deon then spotted a very small white object through the night vision goggles in the distance.
The jet ski was about a mile away and the two fisherman were very grateful to see EastPack Rescue and its crew.
One of the men was wearing only a T-shirt and shorts, but both were wearing life jackets, said crewman Deon.
The man with very light clothing was suffering from mild hypothermia and needed treatment on the trip back to the Maketū Coastguard base in the Kaituna River.
''They are two very lucky boys from Reporoa that may not have survived the night, a good response by our team and a good result,'' said Shane. ''They were able to go back to their families."
Maketū Coastguard is currently fundraising for two additional pairs of night vision goggles.
''This was a good example of how they save lives," said Shane.
Earlier the same day Maketū Coastguard rescued a boat with two divers aboard, that had become stranded with a flat battery close to Plate Island.
''We went out in the afternoon and it was all visual - we could see them so it wasn't too dramatic,'' said Geoff.