Three critical after Tairua bar rescue

A rescue operation underway in Tairua. Photos: Coromandel's CFM.

UPDATE 5.05pm: St John ambulance confirms that three patients are in a critical condition following a water incident at Tairua bar today. 

Two of those in a critical condition have been airlifted to Starship Hospital in Auckland whilst another has gone to Waikato Hospital, also by air. 

“St John was called at 2.37pm to Vista Paku, Pauanui to respond to a water incident,” says a St John spokesperson.

“Two ambulances, two managers, one rapid response unit, and three helicopters responded to the scene.”

Two other patients were treated for minor issues.

Unconfirmed reports suggest the boat may have been assisting a kayaker in trouble, as reported by Coromandel's CFM. 

Tairua-Pauanui Coastguard unit president  Andrew Gibson tells SunLive that conditions at the location had settled compared to yesterday.

However, a one-metre swell combined with the low tide were likely contributory factors to the incident. 

“It is probably just the low tide that makes it a little less forgiving,” says Andrew.

PREVIOUSLY: Police say that all those involved in a water incident in the Coromandel are accounted for and are receiving medical assistance. 

Coromandel's CFM are reporting that at least two of those involved are in a critical condition.

In a statement, police say emergency services received reports of a boat overturning at Tairua Bar, near Pauanui, with five people on board at around 2:30pm.

“The five people on board have been accounted for and are receiving medical assistance,” says a police spokesperson.

Police state that an update on the status of those involved will be provided when they are able to do so.

However, Coromandel’s CFM are reporting that two of the people recovered are in a critical condition and have been taken by rescue helicopter to hospital. 

They report three adults and two children were on board the boat when it overturned and that one person was under the boat for some time before they were rescued.

EARLIER: Reports are coming in of an overturned boat in Tairua.

A post on the Coromandel's CFM Facebook says it's believed the boat was returning to Tairua when it got into trouble on the bar.

"Multiple ambulances together with surf lifesaving, police and fire are responding and we understand that three adults and two children have been recovered from the water," reads the post.

"Westpac Rescue Helicopter is just arriving at the scene now."

Sea conditions in the area are reported to be rough.

According to the latest Tairua Marine Forecast, winds are reported to be around 11knots in a northerly direction.

The MetService is reporting average boating conditions, possibly affected by light-fair winds, and a swell height around 1-2 metres.

At the scene?

Call 0800 SUNLIVE or email photos to

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