Two divers are lucky to be alive after drifting far off shore near Gisborne on Sunday morning.
The father and son were a part of a party of three divers who were diving north of Tatapouri just north of Gisborne shortly after 9am.
The trio had tied their kayaks together and anchored them while diving. Due to the windy weather conditions, the anchored had been dragged and the trio were drifting further off shore.
One of the divers was able to get themselves back to shore with the assistance of another person who was in the water and raise the alarm.
An extensive search was initiated by Police Search and Rescue, Coastguard and the Rescue Co-ordination Centre New Zealand.
Strong winds and large swells made for difficult search conditions for the teams.
One diver was located by helicopter 500 metres off shore. Coastguard were directed to his location and brought him safely back to shore.
The second diver was located eight nautical miles off shore by Coastguard and was also safely taken back to shore.
Neither men required medical treatment but were both understandably cold and shaken.
“This was a fantastic outcome for the family, they were lucky to have been found,” Sergeant Greg Lexmond says.
“It is a good reminder however not to dive in bad conditions.
“We talk about driving to the conditions, you also need to dive to the conditions.”
It was extremely windy yesterday, check the conditions and don’t go out in poor weather.
The men’s family were extremely grateful for the help of all those involved in the search.