16 Feb 2017

Sea lions startle kayakers, trapping them on rocks

4:12 pm on 16 February 2017

Two kayakers had to be rescued from rocks on the Otago coast today after they were scared by sea lions in the water.

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A close encounter with sea lions in the water left two kayakers stranded today. Photo: 123rf.com

Police said three kayakers were in the water on the coast near Balclutha at about 11.30am when they were frightened by the sea lions.

One of the kayakers made it back to shore, but the other two - who were both women - sought shelter on some rocks at Nuggets Point.

The two trapped kayakers were unable to get back to shore because of rough water conditions, police said.

A rescue boat and jet ski were unable to reach the kayakers, due to the large swells, and a rescue helicopter was called in from Dunedin.

The two kayakers were winched to safety at about 1.30pm.

They were taken to Balclutha Hospital, where they were treated for minor injuries and mild hypothermia.