Police say an early morning rescue on Tuesday of two people stranded in a tiny bay in Northern Coromandel is a warning to be prepared for unfavourable conditions.
The pair headed out last night from Te Puru in a 10-foot dinghy for a day of fishing, but the motor cut out and they drifted for nearly two kilometres before rowing to shore.
Although they had lifejackets, police say they were poorly equipped for a night in the open, and with overnight rain, they quickly became very cold. They were airlifted to safety from the bay on Tuesday morning.
Senior Sergeant Dave Litton says they were extremely lucky not to have drowned or been hospitalised.
Mr Litton says the incident is an example of how quickly things can go wrong and shows the need for boaties to be properly equipped.