Whitianga skipper rescues woman from sea

UPDATED: The actions of a Whitianga skipper are being praised by the Whitianga Coastguard.

Don the Whitianga Ferry Skipper is being acknowledge for his part in rescuing a young woman from the Whitianga River just after midnight on Saturday.

“Don was just completing the last of his late night river crossings, when he was made aware that a young female was in the water in the vicinity of the wharf,” says a post on the Whitianga Coastguard Facebook page.

“While the Coastguard rescue crews were being activated, Don singlehandedly commenced a search of the river on the outward flow towards the bay, and not only managed to locate the girl but also managed to manoeuvre the ferry to a position to pull the girl from the water. 

“The boat handling skills required should not be underestimated. But not for the quick thinking and personal skills of Don this incident may have had a very tragic outcome. So well done Don a fantastic effort thank you.”

The young lady was delivered into the hands of ambulance staff, cold but otherwise uninjured.

Earlier:

A young woman who decided to take a night-time dip near Whitianga nearly ended up being swept out to sea.

The 19-year-old got into trouble after deciding to take a swim about 12.15am on Sunday.

Waikato police Senior Sergeant Ray Malcomson​​ says strong currents swept her out into the harbour, prompting the Coastguard to raise the alarm.

Police say teenager was intoxicated and spent 30 minutes in the water before being spotted by the Whitianga Ferry.

After being rescued by the ferry, the woman was later picked up by family members.