Two fishermen have been rescued from rocks near a Port Waikato beach this afternoon.
Rescuers battled large swells and an incoming tide to get the pair to safety at Sunset Beach.
Lifeguards at Sunset Beach were preparing to go on patrol and spotted fishermen on the rocks threatened by an incoming tide and large seas around 10.30am.
Once lifeguards reached the rocks, one crewman, Jack Avery, swam in to assess further.
“There were two fishermen on the rocks in serious distress with no way of getting off the rocks. The swell was too large to safely affect a rock rescue given the patients’ lack of swimming ability and English,” a post on Facebook read.
Police said they were alerted of two people becoming stuck on a rock by the rising tide around 11.30am.
“The rocks are south of the beach and are submerged during a high tide.”
Crew of the Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter were sent to assist with the search and rescue of the pair who were “close to being swept in” around 12.30pm on Monday, an Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust spokesperson said.
Following a “testing wait” due to the previous helicopter having a mechanical breakdown, Westpac 1 arrived around 1.15pm and winched the pair to the beach.
Ambulances assessed the two men on shore, and they were deemed to be in a minor condition.
Fishermen stranding themselves on rocks is a problem the lifeguards face regularly, said Sunset Beach Lifeguard Service.
“Usually, the fishermen have no water experience, poor communication, and no understanding of the danger they are putting themselves in.”