A woman and her elderly father were rescued from the Waikanae River mouth this morning after their dinghy capsized.

A police spokesman said the woman stood on top of the dinghy and used her cellphone to alert police at 6:30am, but reception had been patchy so they struggled to locate the pair initially.

They managed to alert Coastguard who arrived at the river mouth just before 7am to find the pair had been pulled onto an inflatable boat by a pair of spear fishermen.

Coastguard skipper Rob Faulke said the woman and her father had been fishing when a fishing line became tangled on the bow of their aluminium dinghy tipping it over.


He said aluminium dinghy were know to tip easily and it had been the second call out in recent weeks in calm waters.

Mr Faulke said the woman had been wearing a life jacked, but the man in his 70s was not.

"When we got back to shore I saw the second life jacket still in the dingy."

The man was treated for mild hypothermia at the scene.

Mr Faulke urged people out on the water to wear a life jacket and said they could be picked up for $50 at any boating store or Repco.t