A hypothermic man rescued after he became caught in a fishing net was found in the nick of time according to first responders on a North Auckland beach.
The man was plucked from the waters of Algies Bay yesterday evening and rushed to North Shore Hospital.
Kawau Volunteer Coastguard president Luke McCarthy said his team of five received the call at 6.34pm and were on the scene by 6.47pm.
"It was blowing about 15 knots directly into the beach so it made the job interesting to find the guy."
The weather conditions were challenging, with the strong wind drowning out all sound among the "pitch-black".
The crew had to cut the boat engine multiple times to hear his voice over the sound of the wind, McCarthy said.
"They managed to hear something way in the distance and started a search around the moored boats."
When they found him clinging on to a boat he was hypothermic and nearly unresponsive, he said.
"Speaking to a couple of the crew last night it was really close."
The crew administered first aid and tried to keep him as warm as possible before getting him to the St John ambulance, McCarthy said.
It was an absolutely "sterling effort" from the guys on the Kawau rescue, he said.
"I am very proud of them."
Emergency services were first alerted to the man's distress by a local resident.
Willjames Ave resident Holly Kerr heard yelling that was difficult to make out among the strong winds sometime after 6pm.
But the 24-year-old and her younger sister decided to wait on the beach keeping an eye out for trouble.
Then they heard the words "somebody help me" and immediately dialled 111.
The quick-thinking young adults used a torch to try to help direct emergency services to where they thought the man was in the water.
"He was in there for a long time, the poor guy," Kerr said.
"He was yelling out for a long time and then he stopped which was quite scary.
"But the coastguard managed to find him, I think just in time."
Kerr noted how bad the conditions were, miserably dark, windy and cold - "I feel sorry for that poor guy".
The Waitemata District Health Board was unable to comment on what the man's condition was this afternoon.