2 May 2009

Two drown off North Island coast

3:00 pm on 2 May 2009

A fisherman has drowned when his boat capsized off the Auckland coast.

Emergency services were alerted at 1.15am on Saturday that a small boat had capsized about 200 metres off Omana Beach in Maraetai.

Counties Manukau Senior Sergeant Peter Raynes says the two men on board, neither of whom were wearing lifejackets, attempted to swim to shore, but only one reached land.

Police, Coastguard and the Westpac helicopter found the body of the second man at 5am, about 50 metres from the sunken boat.

Father drowns

Later on Saturday a man, who had been with his son in a catamaran, drowned near Taranga Island off Whangarei.

The Rescue Coordination Centre received a beacon signal at 7.13am, and a rescue helicopter found the wreckage of the catamaran.

Police Inspector Cornelius Kluessien says the men were seeking shelter after having been out overnight. The boat hit rocks, and at some stage the father knocked his head on rocks and drowned.

The man's son called for help by activating the beacon and setting off a flare.