The day before my friend's 40th birthday we headed out to do some fishing on a kayak on the Bank's Peninsula,NZ. The weather was warm and the sea was calm. With only a couple of hours of light left for the day we kayaked/fished for an hour before turning around to head back to the beach. Shortly into our return trip a strong southwest front came, turning the sea into spray with strong winds that tipped both of us out of the kayak. We were forced onto a rocky low tide beach,pummeled by the waves as we were pushed into the rocks. We were able to drag our kayak up on one of the only sections of rocks below the 100 meter vertical cliffs with a small area above the high tide. Thankfully we didn't sustain any injury and agreed to try and walk out along the base of the cliff before it turned dark. However, we were only able to go a short distance before the beach disappeared and the ocean was crashing into the cliffs with no space to walk. It was getting dark and there was no way to walk out, the sea was still fierce with waves crashing in, making it impossible to get back out in the kayak. We accepted that we will not be getting home that evening and prepared a rock shelter at the base of the cliff above the high water mark. We had prepared a rock shelter/windbreak adjoining a overhanging rock above the high tide zone,and had crawled under the rock to shelter from the wind for the night. The air temperature was dropping fast as it became dark, we were beginning to shiver from being drenched. We were doing jumping jacks trying to stay warm, in between huddling together in the shelter. Being wet, we knew hypothermia was beginning, and we had another 10 hrs before daylight,with the low temperature for the night predicted to be 5 deg.C. We knew we would be extremely hypothermic if we were to try to "tough" it through the night. Having an ACR ResQlink PLB, we decided it was time to ask for help. The strobe light activated and we waited for rescue, surrounded by inquisitive seals. One seal even knocked the PLB off the rock as we waited for a rescue in our shelter! Within an hour a rescue helicopter appeared above and skilfully lowered a rescue member to the base of the cliff. We were both winched to safety and returned to the bay where we were staying, to get warm and get some food. Without the beacon we would have been in for a long cold night without shelter or warmth, and would have been extremely hypothermic by morning. We were only going out for a short kayak and so glad we had the beacon with us.An amazing piece of kit.
Words of Wisdom
We were only going out for a short kayak and so glad we had the beacon with us.An amazing piece of kit.
It may be small, but it's tough. The ResQLink™+ Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) is a buoyant, GPS-enabled rescue beacon that's suited for outdoor adventures of all sizes (think: everything from hiking and cycling to hunting and fishing). Should you run into an unexpected survival situation, the ResQLink+ PLB will relay your location to a network of search and rescue satellites, allowing local first responders to more easily get you home safe and sound. Be Prepared for the Unpredictable