Navy to the rescue

A Whangārei yachtie was relieved to see black-clad commandos aboard a warship after his boat got stuck on the rocks in the Poor Knights Islands. Lucas Remmerswaal told Stuff he had tried everything to get his yacht Tafadzwa off the rocks last Friday after anchoring too close. "I tried everything I could to get the vessel off. Every wave provided new hope I would find enough freeboard to motor off but every hope was misplaced." He put out a mayday call at around 7.20am, which HMNZS Wellington responded to. "I was so grateful to see four men clothed in black commando-style outfits and helmets in the ship's inflatable sea boat," he said. Police Sergeant Ryan Gray said on Friday less than an hour after the mayday call the stricken boatie had been pulled off the rocks by a navy team. Lieutenant Commander Gibbs, captain of the navy ship, said they were pleased to be able to help.

Flares could spark police heat

A couple of allegedly drunk people letting off flares could find themselves facing some heat from police. Sergeant Jim Adamson of police Search and Rescue said Northland police were alerted by the Rescue Coordination Centre about 2.30am on Friday after emergency flares were seen in Marsden Cove area. Officers started to establish whether it was a genuine emergency and were preparing to mobilise police and Coastguard. The person who alerted RCC to the flares then went to Marsden Cove Marina to check and found a couple of drunk people letting off flares. Under the Marine Transport Act endanger others is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 or 12 months' jail. If found guilty of communicating false information affecting safety the punishment is also a $10,000 fine or one year in prison.

Facebook firearm alert

A message posted on a Facebook page by a Whangārei Boys' High School student of a photo of a firearm and telling others to not to come to school has seen him referred to the police. The message was posted on Thursday about 8am and was soon removed. Police were notified and the student spoken to and referred to the Police Youth Aid section. No charges have been laid. Whangārei Boys' High School Principal Karen Gilbert-Smith said she had no comment to make at this time.

No charges after beach crash

No charges have been laid but police continue to investigate a crash on Baylys Beach late last month. Four people were flung from a vehicle that rolled multiple times and police said they were lucky not to be crushed. Two people with serious injuries were flown to Whangārei Hospital by the Northland rescue helicopter after the crash 4km south of the Baylys Beach settlement. Initial investigations have led police to believe alcohol and speed were contributing factors. Senior Sergeant Ian Row said it was lucky those thrown from the vehicle were not crushed by the rolling vehicle.

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Shared path opening planned

December 8 is set to be a day of celebration in Whangārei with an open day and ribbon cutting ceremony for the completed sections of the Kamo Shared Path planned for the morning. The Christmas Festival will be held on the same day at Northland Events Centre from 5pm. More information will be provided on the Kamo Shared Path opening in weeks to come.

Pet store opens

Animates has officially opened it's doors in Whangārei. The store, located on the corner of Robert and Carruth Sts comes complete with a DIY Dog Wash. A grooming salon will also open at a later date. The store will be open seven days a week with dedicated car parking. All leashed pets are welcome to go shopping too. To celebrate opening, the store is offering free DIY Dog Wash until November 25. A Grand Opening event is planned for a few weeks' time, with entertainment for the whole family.

Members' art on show

The Whangārei Quarry Arts Centre's Annual Member's Show has opened at the Yvonne Rust Gallery. The eclectic exhibition showcases paintings, prints, ceramics, weaving, sculpture and more from the Northland arts community. It opened last night and runs until November 19.

Homeless day centre opening

The day centre for Whangārei's homeless community, called Open Arms, will officially open on Thursday. The centre is in the back of the old Army Hall on the corner of Walton and Robert Sts. For the best part of the past four months the building has undergone renovations to get it ready to open. Work has included painting, cleaning, installing shelves, fixing the plumbing and much more. The ceremony to mark the opening will have a blessing, a welcome, special guests and performances.