An injured fisherman was plucked to safety overnight after a rising tide trapped him on the rocks at a remote Whangārei Heads beach.
The man had been fishing off the rocks on Kauri Mountain Beach in Taiharuru when he slipped and seriously hurt his shoulder shortly before 1am on Monday.
He used his cellphone to dial 111 which triggered a response from Police Search and Rescue who called in firefighters from Whangārei Heads and Whangārei, plus the Northland Rescue Helicopter to assist.
Sergeant Craig Burrows, of Northland's Search and Rescue team, said they knew he was fishing close to his car.
"Once we found his vehicle we managed to narrow down his location fairly quickly."
He was spotted roughly 50m from the cliff shoreline stranded on a small rock surrounded by rising waters as high tide closed in.
Strong waves close to 2m high prevented police and firefighters from being able to go to the man's aid.
Instead they used torches to illuminate the man from their clifftop location as a rescue swimmer was winched onto the rock from the NEST chopper hovering above.
Whangārei Heads chief fire officer Paul MacDonald said they could see waves breaking onto the rescuer and the man.
Despite the conditions, the fisherman was successfully winched to safety without a hitch and airlifted to Whangārei Hospital.
Burrows said the late hour of the man's fishing jaunt didn't surprise him.
"I would like to say it's not usual but it's not unexpected. Fishermen like to fish at certain spots at certain times. "
He urged anglers headed to the region's coastline - regardless of the time of day - to make sure they have two forms of waterproof communication.
As well as being equipped with a lifejacket, tell someone your exact location, and how long you expect to be.
"You can never be too careful," Burrows said.