Watch: Coastguard rescues kayaker caught in heavy swell at Hawke’s Bay

The Coast Guard rescued a kayaker caught in a heavy swell at Hawkes Bay. Video / Hawkes Bay Coast Guard

A kayaker was lucky to escape unscathed after having to be rescued by a heavy swell off Napier.

Hawke’s Bay Coastguard received a call on Wednesday from a concerned onlooker who saw a kayaker in difficult conditions approximately 100m from Marine Parade.

The kayaker was barely making progress in bad weather, the caller said.

The Hawke’s Bay Coastguard responded and within 20 minutes five volunteers had arrived on the scene. The kayaker, who had launched from the beach, was now about 120-140 m offshore.

Footage of the incident shows the kayaker struggling in windy conditions as a coastguard boat is then seen coming to the aid of the person.

Hawke’s Bay Coastguard skipper Henry van Tuel said conditions on the water were starting to deteriorate, with 1.5m swells and poor visibility.

Less than half an hour after the team brought the kayaker back on board, the swell had risen to almost 2 m.

“We were able to react very quickly to assist the kayak as our unit was familiar with these types of conditions off Marine Parade.”

The Coast Guard team was able to bring the kayaker ashore unharmed.

“Our volunteers responded very professionally and handled the difficult conditions to get the kayaker back to safety,” Tuel said.