After spending two long, cold hours clinging to each other in choppy waters an injured man and his daughter began preparing for the worst.
"We didn't think we were going to get out of it and could barely hold our heads above water, we were sure we were going to be dead soon," the man told the Herald.
The pair had set off for a jet ski on Lake Rotorua on Boxing Day at around 5.30pm in calm conditions.
But when they were 300m offshore, the wind "suddenly came up out of nowhere" and a wave knocked them off the jet ski.
"I was winded when I hit the water," said the man who is a doctor and in his 60s.
The jet ski's kill switch was activated but the wind picked up and carried it away.
"At that point, I realised I was more than just winded as every time I kicked I could feel things weren't right and I realised I had broken my ribs."
Fortunately both were wearing life jackets - something that probably helped save their lives.
They spent the next two hours floating in the lake, holding on to each other to try and stay warm, while waves broke over their heads.
"As time went by and the situation got more desperate, we tied our lifejackets together in case one of us became unconscious," the father said.
They blew the whistles on their lifejackets to try to attract attention and kicked as much as they could in a desperate attempt to get closer to shore, but the conditions were worsening.
It was at that point they began to lose hope, preparing to say their "goodbyes" and telling each other: "I love you".
The daughter, in her 30s, said she was really concerned about her father, who was severely hypothermic at that point and had a partially collapsed lung.
"He'd stopped shivering and he was getting more blue as he inhaled water he couldn't cough up."
The father said the pair could barely hold their heads above the water and was sure they would be dead soon.
Back on the shore, the man's partner had alerted police, who called Coastguard Rotorua Lakes.
Being Boxing Day, the Coastguard volunteers were at home with their families – but scrambled to the lake, with six crew members getting there in 15 minutes.
The father and daughter were found after 15 minutes about 2km off Hamurana Bay with their jet ski almost 4km away from them.
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Coastguard Rotorua Lakes volunteer Jonathan Findon said the pair were very lucky.
"There's a lot of things that came together to really keep them alive: getting spotted so quickly, us getting on the water as quickly as we did when we were paged. Being in any water for any length of time is really hard on the body. I think they know how lucky they were."
Findon said the father was chatty and seemed okay when he was first pulled onto the boat, but his condition deteriorated quickly.
"It was definitely a situation where he needed to get back to shore into medical care sooner rather than later."
He said this particular rescue would be a memorable one.
"In terms of overall luckiness, it's not that far off [from] retrieving corpses, so absolutely, they were lucky."
Coastguard crew immediately called an ambulance to meet them back at the store, he said.
"Neither of them could stand and the father was unable to speak, both had to be held up on the ride back to shore."
St John confirmed they transported two patients in minor condition from Sulphur Point to Rotorua Hospital at around 7.25pm.
The father, who himself has rescued two other jet skiers in the past, was extremely grateful to the Coastguard volunteers who came out to their rescue.
"I shall always remember seeing the bow wave as you approached us. You have really made a big difference to many people."
"I would like to give a heartfelt thanks to all those involved in picking my daughter and I out of the lake. We were, I believe, about 10 minutes away from being another statistic."