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Officer jumps off chopper in sea rescue

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 29/03/2017

A police officer has jumped five metres from a helicopter into the sea off west Auckland to help two kayakers in trouble in rough conditions.

The kayak had flipped near Cornwallis wharf about 3.15pm on Wednesday and the police Eagle helicopter was sent to the scene.

Air Support Unit supervisor Sergeant Callum Young says the kayakers, who were wearing life jackets, had turned the canoe back over.

One of them had clambered back in, but the other was still in the water.

"It was a fast outgoing tide and they had travelled quite a way from where they were originally reported," Sgt Young said.

An officer in the chopper noticed that the kayaker in the water had turned blue and he was struggling to hold on to the boat.

The officer jumped into the water and helped get the kayaker back in.

Shortly before the coastguard arrived, the kayak flipped again .

The officer was able to turn it over and helped both kayakers back on board, before the coastguard took the pair back to the wharf.

No one was injured but both kayakers were treated for the effects of the cold.

Sgt Young said the officer was in the water for 10 to 15 minutes.

"We attend a lot of water rescues but it's rare that officers have to jump in," he said.

"It was great work by the Eagle crew and especially the officer who jumped into the water."

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