Boaties in strife have kept Coastguard crews busy in the northern region this weekend, with multiple people rescued from stricken vessels.

On Saturday afternoon a vessel hit rocks off Sandy Bay, Rakino Island.

The skipper radioed the Coastguard operations centre using VHF channel 16 - specifically for emergency announcements.

Within 10 minutes the Coastguard Air Patrol were hovering overhead, and rescue vessels arrived five minutes later.


Nearby Navy personnel and members of the public also raced to the scene.

The vessel was sinking and the people on board including children were helped off the vessel onto the rescue boat Trillian Rescue Alpha.

All occupants of the boat were wearing life jackets.

Their vessel was refloated with help from Lion Foundation Rescue team, and brought in alongside Alpha.

The Coastguard Northern Region posted a graph of their callouts on their Facebook page today showing just how busy they were over the weekend with each trail representing a rescue vessel or aircraft that was deployed.

Here's a colourful representation to show how busy it got yesterday (Saturday) for Coastguard volunteers out in the...

Posted by Coastguard Northern Region on Saturday, 4 March 2017

At 3.20pm on Saturday the Kawau Volunteer Coastguard crew were deployed to a vessel having mechanical difficulty at the southern end of Kawau Island.

As the arrived at the scene they got a second, urgent call for a missing swimmer near the northern end of the island.

They were redirected to help in the search for the swimmer while another coastguard vessel was tasked to assist the boatie with mechanical issues.

"A joint search and rescue operation was quickly underway involving police, Coastguard Air Patrol and the Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter.

"Kawau Rescue located the missing swimmer safe and well and was taken back to Sandspit," a spokesperson said.

The crew were then tasked to another vessel with mechanical difficulty near Little Barrier Island and did not get back to base until 11pm on Saturday night.

"Well done and thank you to all volunteers who are out there saving lives at sea," the spokesperson said.

The injured fisherman was treated at the scene by St John Ambulance paramedics who were transported to his vessel by the Coastguard team.

Coastguard were also aware of a water rescue involving a sinking yacht on Friday afternoon on Great Barrier Island.