Two young men are ''extremely lucky'' to escape serious injury after their boat hit rocks at night near Russell.
The pair, from the Kawakawa area, were returning from a game fishing trip about 7.30pm on Thursday when they took a route between rocks at Tapeka Pt.
The ''very experienced'' boaties had used the passage before and it was marked on their GPS plotter, so it was not clear why they had hit rocks, Russell police Constable Mike Gorrie said.
Moments later the boat was swamped by a wave which filled it, dragged it back into the water and capsized it.
With their phones and emergency beacon in the upturned boat, they decided their only option was to swim for shore.
It was more difficult than they expected due to strong currents but they made it to land and raised the alarm at a house at Tapeka.
Their only injuries were a few scratches, Gorrie said.
''I don't think they were powering through. If they were going at speed anything could've happened, broken limbs or worse.''
A dog on board also ended up in the water. The men had decided to put on the dog's lifejacket a short time earlier as they were passing the Black Rocks.
It is believed the dog also made it safely to shore.
The aluminium boat did not sink but was still drifting upside-down off Tapeka Pt, where it posed a navigation hazard, on Friday morning.
It was retrieved by the harbourmaster and towed to Waitangi, where the father of one of the young men collected it.
Harbourmaster Jim Lyle said the young men were ''extremely lucky''.
''We've had lots of cases where people have been really badly injured, with legs broken, faces smashed into the boat or knocked unconscious, by hitting rocks in the dark.''
He urged anyone driving a boat after dark to reduce speed near shore or if they weren't certain of their position.
Gorrie said Tapeka Pt had been the scene of many boating accidents over the years.