6 Sep 2009

Two men cross Cook Strait in a van

5:05 pm on 6 September 2009

Two men took about 10 hours to traverse Cook Strait in a van which made landfall near Porirua north of Wellington on Sunday afternoon.

Aeronautical machinists Dan Melling and Adam Turnbull left Waikawa Bay in the Marlborough Sounds at 6am in a 1990 four wheel drive they have adapted as an amphibious vehicle.

They arrived at Mana marina at about 3.45pm where about 100 supporters and curious onlookers gathered to welcome them.

The pair say they were confident all along and may consider crossing Foveaux Strait next time.

They say they have won a $1000 bet and will place the adapted 1990 Toyota TownAce on Trade Me in due course.

Speaking from the middle of Cook Strait on Sunday, Dan Melling, says they had dolphins for company for part of the voyage in their adapted vehicle.

Mr Melling said they came up with the scheme over a few beers, after seeing something similar on television, and bought the van for the crossing.

"We sorta mucked around, put a prop on the back of it - front wheel drive on the land and rear wheel drive on the water," he said.

The pair have just completed training for the Air Force.