Jetskier rescued after sea plunge
An ambitious attempt by two men to jet ski from Palliser Bay to Wellington on Sunday afternoon ended in a dramatic helicopter sea rescue.

Masterton Police sergeant Carolyn Watson said the pair were trying to jet ski back to Wellington at around 12.45pm when they met strong southerly winds and swells of up to 2m high near Lake Ferry.

One of the skiers, a 25-year-old Auckland man, fell from his ski and, battling a strong undertow, was unable to swim to the shore.

He was dragged out to sea and forced to spend 40 minutes in the water, although he was wearing a full wetsuit and a lifejacket.

The other skier, a 40-year-old man, was just able to make it to the shore safely.

Wellington-based Westpac Rescue Helicopter crewman Dave Greenberg said police contacted the service just before 1pm and reported that a jet skier was seen from the shore near Lake Ferry to lose his jet ski and was being swept out to sea.

The helicopter was airborne four minutes later and arrived overhead at 1.15pm.

A person on shore who was watching the man through binoculars was able to talk the crew directly to the man, Mr Greenberg said.

The jet skier was winched out of Palliser Bay and flown back to shore.

He said that he had hit something in the water and fell from his jet ski, Mr Greenberg said.

"Once on shore the Wellington Free Ambulance Helicopter paramedic onboard the helicopter checked the man and he was shaken up and a bit cold but otherwise OK."

Mr Greenberg said it was "certainly helpful" having someone on shore keeping track of the man.

"We were able to fly pretty much directly to him and had him on shore within 20 minutes of leaving Wellington."

The man was not transported to hospital, and minutes later at 1.30pm, the helicopter was dispatched to Titahi Bay where there had been reports on an empty kayak being swept out to sea.

Ms Watson said the Wellington-based police launch Lady Liz III had been dispatched to Palliser Bay, but was stood down after the helicopter crew arrived.

"It was just another example of how invaluable the Westpac Rescue Helicopter service is to the people of Wairarapa."

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