Malcolm Lochead

I went out with my friend Stanley and his friend, a doctor, in Stan’s run about. It was a nice morning at Kauwa Bay around Auckland and we set off at 6.30 am. All was going great and we dropped a set line and carried on further out once this was completed to do some rod fishing. Stan made mention that the engine was a little sluggish but thought it would clear itself with further use.

We finally got out to where we were going and commenced fishing. The snapper were on the bite and we were hauling in some really large beasts, but the wind came from nowhere and Stan decided to pull the pick and head back to retrieve the set line. When he went to start it there was nothing he did that would get the motor going.

By this time the wind was really at a scary point with water lapping over the side of the boat and it was then I heard Stan say, “guys get your life jackets on we may be going down”. All I could think of was my 3 children and that seeing them that morning may be the last time. Stan put out a series of May Day calls and the police launch DEE a DAR was just coming under the harbour bridge and could not get to us for another hour. But there was a boat coming to us from where we left that morning and it seemed like forever before we caught a glimpse of him through the spray of the wild sea. When the launch arrived he did a cicle of us and proceeded to come close and throw us a tow line but once attached the slack in the line took it under our boat and when it tightened it was dragging our bow down under the water.

At last, the launch had us undertow and away we went grateful for the effort these guys had made. But the fun was not over! The dingy tied to the launch came adrift and the skipper cut power and stopped. As we had no means of control our boat slammed into the rescue boat and the bow rope guide punched a large hole in the port side of their bow, and again the tow rope had gone under the launch and was slamming us even harder against it. I then heard Stan say I have to give the engine another try and with much delight, it started. I reached over the windscreen and detached the tow line and we reversed back off the launch.

Because we were not towed back to the boat ramp we used that morning, the skipper took us to the next bay so we were at the boat ramp in the beaten up boat, but our car and trailer were still at the other boat ramp. A quick phone call to Stan’s wife and my wife and they came out, picked the car and trailer up and when they arrived Ii lost the plot and got down on my hands and knees and kissed the concrete boat ramp. WE WERE SAFE. And the fish on both the rods and the long line were so nice.

We tried to contact the guys who saved us but had no luck but they were real heroes.