Police praise teen’s preparation after rescue

PLB personal locator beacon
The teenager was wearing a lifejacket and carrying a Personal Locator Beacon before heading to sea, which helped rescue services find him. Personal Locator Beacon. Photo: NZ Mountain Outdoor Safety.

Police are praising preparation and teamwork in the successful rescue of a teenager on Friday.

The teenager was wearing a lifejacket and carrying a Personal Locator Beacon before heading to sea, two important factors which Police acknowledge that without them the outcome would very likely not have been as positive.

At 3.20pm on Friday, Police received a call reporting a young man overdue whilst kayaking near Haulashore Island. 

The teen had earlier been paddling with a family member but become separated in the large swells after falling into the water and losing contact with the kayak.

Deteriorating weather conditions hampered his efforts to swim to shore as he was swept out into Tasman Bay. 

When he did not return to shore, concerned family members raised the alarm.

Shortly after, the teen made the right call and activated his Personal Locator Beacon providing an exact location.

Nelson Surf Lifesaving, Nelson Coastguard and the Nelson Harbour Master along with the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter coordinated by Police Search and Rescue all joined the response to bring the teen back home, says Senior Sergeant Nathan Snell.

“By having a Personal Locator Beacon and lifejacket on him, we were able to head directly to him, only needing to search a small area in very trying conditions”

The teen was pulled aboard a Surf Lifesaving rescue boat about 4.10 pm.

“Without the beacon and lifejacket, we would likely have been searching all night and the outcome would very likely not have been as positive, I want to recognise the importance of being prepared when heading to sea,” says Senior Sergeant Snell.

“Check the weather and take two different forms of waterproof communication.

“I also want to highlight the work of our partner agencies: Surf Lifesaving, Coastguard, Harbourmaster and the Rescue Helicopter for their quick and professional response, their efforts coordinated by the Police Search and Rescue Squad, undoubtedly helped save a life on Friday.”

“Nelson Police Search & Rescue have undertaken significant work over the last 18 months to improve the efficiency & response times in our local marine search & rescue sector,” says Senior Constable Jude Yeoman, Nelson Police Search and Rescue Coordinator.

“Friday’s outcome is a significant credit to the investment Police & our key partners Surf Lifesaving NZ, Coastguard & Nelson Harbour Master have undertaken to improve marine search and rescue over recent months.”

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