Proper safety precautions and a swift response from emergency services helped save a fisherman who was swept off the rocks at Piha on Saturday.
WaterSafe Auckland, Auckland Council’s ratepayer-funded water safety partner, often sees accidents like this end in tragedy.
But in this case, Watersafe Chief Executive Jonathon Webber says several factors meant there was a happy ending.
“A major factor in his survival was that the fisherman was well prepared,” Johnathon said.
“He wasn’t fishing alone, his companion had a cellphone to call 111, and both of them were wearing lifejackets.
"A life‐ring (angel‐ring) was also available and used by the man’s companion.”
The rescue involved a combined response by emergency services including Westpac Rescue Helicopter, SurfCom (Surf Life Saving Northern Region), Piha Surf Life Saving Club, St John Ambulance and the New Zealand Police.
Surf Life Saving Northern Region Chief Executive Matt Williams says everyone involved in the rescue is pleased the fisherman survived.
“But it does highlight the significant risk attached to West Coast rock‐fishing, a risk that is heightened when big surf is running.”
Several hands‐on, land‐based fishing workshops have been delivered in recent months for Auckland’s Asian communities.
This is part of the West Coast Rock Fishing Safety Project, a 10 year old partnership between WaterSafe Auckland, Surf Lifesaving Northern Region and Auckland Council, aimed at reducing rock fishing fatalities on Auckland’s West Coast beaches.