A modern-day Icarus surfing with a kite flew so close to Hawke's Bay Airport on Tuesday that a medical flight was delayed and the coastguard called out.
Hawke's Bay Coastguard skipper Henry van Tuel said the coastguard was told by police about 3.50pm that a kite surfer had been spotted operating in the flight path of Hawke's Bay airport, delaying the departure of a Medevac plane.
"It's the first time I've struck that to be honest, it kind of flabbergasted me," he said.
Van Tuel said the rogue kite surfer was already gone by the time the coastguard responded.
"We spoke to another kite surfer in the area who confirmed that there had been somebody in the area, but it wasn't him.
"Once we clarified that there was nobody in the area, we just rang air traffic control and said there were no kite surfers and the plane was released."
The police were informed about 4.15pm that it was safe for the flight to take off.
The Hawke's Bay Regional Council navigation safety bylaw 2018 bans kite surfing, as well as paragliding and any other activity involving people in the air, within the Napier Pilotage area over Westshore and the Ahuriri inner Harbor near Battery Rd beach under S 1.5 clause H, unless they have received special permission from air traffic control at the airport.
Van Tuel said the kite surfer they spoke to was aware of the bylaw.
He said the coastguard does not do hard enforcement itself in these matters.
"We only ever do education or rescues. So we never issue somebody a fine or a telling off or anything like that."
Hawke's Bay Regional Council harbourmaster captain Martin Moore said the clause had been in force since at least 2012, since it was a part of the 2012 iteration of the bylaw he revised in 2018.
He said it was uncommon to encounter, as kite surfers mostly went to the Waitangi Basin or Clive where the water was more flat.