September 1, 2022
Two fishermen swept off rocks were winched to safety overnight after a helicopter rescue team spotted light shining from their mobile phones.
Auckland's Westpac Helicopter Rescue team flew to the rocks at Otonga Point south of Whiritoa Beach, near Whangamatā, at 9pm last night after it was reported to police that one of the men had fallen into the water and was pulled up by the other.
The men, one in his 50s and other in his 30s were stuck on the rocks.
Pilot James Tayler said "it was very dark, no moon light, and a bit overcast" when the crew arrived.
"We flew down the coast, and we spotted the light shining on their mobile phones."
"We flew to the bottom of the steep Island hovering 30m above to steer clear of the rocks.
"Our critical care medic went down and we winched them on board, they were both very cold."
Both were brought to the Whiritoa Surf Club, where they were attended to by an ambulance, Tayler said.