Man 'very lucky' to be rescued after four hours in the water

11:53 am on 13 January 2017

A fisherman who was rescued after more than four hours in the waters of Manukau Harbour overnight is lucky to be alive, his rescuers say.

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A lifejacket "undoubtedly" saved the life of the 34-year-old man, who was found just before 4am this morning.

The man rowed out from Green Bay to set some fishing nets at 10pm, when his two-metre dinghy was swamped by waves.

Three Coastguard rescue vessels were launched shortly before midnight and searched for the man in the Manukau Harbour.

He was found four hours later in the middle of the Purakau Channel.

The Coastguard said he was in the water with his overturned dinghy nearby and was suffering from severe hypothermia, drifting in and out of consciousness.

Coastguard Papakura president Rod Frost said he was a very lucky man.

"There were some rough conditions out in the Manuaku Harbour, and although we were searching much of the night, we only spotted the man when our searchlights picked up the reflective strips on his lifejacket."

The man went out unprepared, with no forms of communication to signal for help once he got into trouble, Mr Frost said.

The lifejacket the man was wearing kept him afloat throughout the night, and that undoubtedly saved his life, he said.