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Coromandel kayaker 'extremely lucky'

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 20/06/2017
A Westpac rescue helicopter. © Phil Walter/Getty Images A Westpac rescue helicopter.

A kayaker discovered after capsizing in waters off the Coromandel coast is "an extremely lucky guy", rescue helicopter crew say.

The Westpac Rescue Helicopter and Coastguard were sent to look for the missing man on Tuesday night after he didn't return from a kayak fishing trip off Te Mata.

The man, in his 40s, wasn't wearing a wetsuit when he capsized in the afternoon. He managed to make it to shore but his cellphone was waterlogged.

When crews arrived he was hypothermic, distressed and extremely tired.

A passer-by found him and attracted rescuers' attention with a torch.

He was flown to Thames Hospital in a moderate condition.

The man is "an extremely lucky guy", says crewman Mark Cannell.

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