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'Tragedy Avoided' as Police Helicopter Finds Kayaker Miles From His Boat

Auckland police teamed up with Coastguard Hibuscus to rescue a “very experienced” kayaker who had drifted miles from his boat in choppy waters on Sunday, February 23.

According to police, an empty kayak was seen two miles off Auckland’s Waiake Beach. Police said conditions weren’t great, with 15-20 knot winds and a two meter swell.

Footage released by Auckland City District Police shows the police helicopter searching for the kayaker, Alex. He was found treading water with a life jacket on and was pulled from the water by a supporting police boat.

Police said the only thing Alex did wrong was get separated from his kayak, which had a GPS unit, an electronic personal locator beacon, his mobile and a PFD life-saving device on board.

Alex said he owes his life to those who rescued him.

“It is the kind of situation where you start accepting, because I really can’t do much, and nobody knows … Suddenly when I see the helicopter, and it is searching for me and actually found me, it was a massive relief,” he said. Credit: Auckland City District Police via Storyful