As the police Eagle helicopter crew were being filmed warning ocean-goers about the dangers at sea ahead of Labour Weekend, a 111 call for help with a stranded kayaker came in.
The promotional police video turned into rescue footage as the team jumped into action, flying to the Manukau Harbour near Cornwallis Wharf to facilitate the operation.
The incident unfolded on Tuesday and the video has been uploaded to the New Zealand Police Facebook page.
What started out as an uneventful marketing exercise quickly turned dramatic as tactical flight officers Leah and Barry at the Eagle base in Auckland explained water safety for the camera.
"So when we get called to a water rescue job, quite often it'll be a fisherman that's been swept off the rocks, sometimes kayakers that have lost their kayak - they've fallen out of their kayak and they are in the water," Leah said.
As Barry chips in to explain about responding to incidents involving overdue people and how people need to be aware of just how quickly they can get into trouble, the emergency call comes in via Leah's mobile.
"There's a girl who took my kayak out and the wind is just taking her away, and the current is so strong and she's drifting and she's calling for help - she's screaming," the 111 caller desperately tells the operator.
"You've got a 1W coming in now [water/sea rescue]," an off-camera voice tells the pair. "A lady off Cornwallis has borrowed a kayak and she's being dragged out to sea, off-shore."
The team is dispatched.
"From the wharf I think it's 2-3 kilometres out and just sucking the kayak out, so quick," the frantic caller tells the 111 operator.
The kayaker is a tiny dot when the helicopter crew spot her from the air.
Eagle tells the kayaker over a loud speaker "help is on the way".
The Waiuku Coastguard arrives to take the woman back to shore.
Afterward, Barry tells the camera the kayaker was probably inexperienced and should not have been kayaking in such windy conditions on an outgoing tide.
"She did get into trouble, and you can get into trouble very quickly on the water, and she was getting swept out.
"Once they're in the water, if they can't swim, if they're not experienced, they're in serious trouble. And it is not a nice thing when we are searching the coastline and you do locate a body."
Leah reinforced the message.
"That body of water is very unforgiving on an outgoing tide. It was very windy down there," she said.
"There's a lot of things people can do, prevention measures, before they even step a foot in the water.
"That starts with letting someone know where you are going, when you're expected to be back, having a point of contact on you where if you get into trouble you can call for help, being aware of the water conditions you're going into - you know incoming tides, outgoing tides, the size of the swells, you need to be prepared for the worst."
The relief in the caller's voice seeing the woman rescued ends the video.
"Ohhhh, really, really wonderful, wonderful service. God bless New Zealand."