Distress beacon saves canoeist

A 57-year-old canoeist had a narrow escape last night thanks to the personal locator beacon he was carrying when paddling off a Northland beach. The Hamilton man was found severely hypothermic and barely still clinging to his home-made canoe when the rescue helicopter crew found him about 9 pm.

The Rescue Coordination Centre of New Zealand says if the man had not been carrying a distress beacon he would not have survived in the remote location of Ripiro Beach, 20 kilometres north of the North Head entrance to Kaipara Harbour.