5 Jul 2011

Boaties unsure how to use beacon, say rescuers

9:02 am on 5 July 2011

Three men have been rescued from a beach north of Auckland after their fishing vessel smashed on to rocks and capsized.

The Westpac Rescue Helicopter found the group at Te Arai point, on Pakiri Beach, at about 12.45am on Tuesday.

Maritime New Zealand's Rescue Co-ordination Centre spokesman Keith Allen says the rescue was delayed for about two hours because it appears the crew was unfamiliar with the use of an emergency beacon.

After turning it on initially, they turned it off, then turned it on and off several times, he said.

Some of the men on board the boat were asleep when the smash happened.

The rescue centre says the men suffered minor injuries such as scrapes and bruising.