Two Wellington kayakers who sparked the rescue said they were experienced and were not in danger. Video / TVNZ
Two kayakers who embarked on a rescue mission in storm-hit Wellington Harbor this morning claimed they were not in danger.
“It was great, we live for this stuff,” one of the men told 1News, wet and freezing, after hitting the beach at Peyton Beach.
Police said a report was received at 7.55 a.m. from a member of the public saying one of the kayakers was having potential difficulty with the Marines.
“There were other kayakers in the area and he was seen rowing towards the first. The person who made the report then lost sight of the two boats, but it is believed that they were heading towards Eastbourne.”
Both men were wearing life jackets.
The couple was later located safely in Peyton, but they now say the search was not necessary and that they were safe the whole time.
Eric, one of the contestants, told 1News that both men were “experienced” and “always playing it safe.”
“It was great, we live for this stuff, get out before work and enjoy it there, really good surfing.”
He added that the pair often rowed in circumstances similar to the current ones and never strayed far from each other.
Speaking to the Herald in Ohiro Bay, Wellington Mayor Andy Foster said he was baffled by the kayakers’ behavior.
“It’s the kind of thing where you go, ‘What on earth were you thinking?'”
“It’s crazy to be out in such weather conditions.
“Obviously there are some very professional kayakers out there, but you’re putting yourself at risk and putting other people at risk. It’s not responsible behaviour.”
The Herald asked the police how much the search would cost and whether the two men would be billed.
A police spokeswoman said she had no further comment on the rescue, but urged residents to only get out into the water if it was safe and tell others where to go and what their plans were.
“It’s dangerous on the water and on the roads due to high winds, and we urge people to take precautions and stay safe.”