At about 5 p.m on Saturday 25 October 2008 Te Anau police and organisers of a fishing contest responded to an incident on Lake Te Anau involving a sinking boat.
A 4.9 metre fibreglass cabin boat got into difficulty near the entrance to the South Arm of the lake and sank. The weather conditions at the time were poor with a strong southerly wind and hail and a building chop on the lake.
The boat was one of approximately 200 on Lake Te Anau involved in the 2008
Stabi-Craft-Yamaha Te Anau Fishing Tournament.
The stricken vessel had taken on water when struck by two large waves in quick succession and once water had been taken on board, it sank by the stern within 30 seconds, leaving only the point of the bow above water.
Two privately owned boats in the near vicinity, also involved in the fishing contest responded and plucked three adults and five children from the water.
The children ranged in age from 4 to 9 years and had been wearing life jackets at the time. The three adults were men aged 30, 38 and 41. None of the adults were wearing life jackets at the time. All were from Gore and Te Anau.
A helicopter with scoop net and a number of vessels were called to assist, but all those involved were safely on board the rescue boats to prior to their arrival. The last person pulled from the water had been swimming between five and ten minutes.
A police spokeman praised the efforts by those on board the rescuing boats and stated that given the speed and circumstances of the incident their vigilance and prompt actions undoubtedly saved lives.
Police again reiterate the need for skippers to take responsibility for their craft and those on board and take heed of all safety precautions.