Kite surfing drama proves Metservice warnings should not be taken lightly

By Ani-Oriwia Adds

MetService has warned Wellington's large swell around the east coast of the capital are not to be taken lightly as a courageous kite surfer near Lyall Bay got caught in the swell and nearly disappeared.

MetService's surf warning about dangerous swells proved to be very true today, as beach goers and surfers experienced a bit of drama out on the water.

Kite Surfer Torstien Molskred says, “All the other parties are pointing looking and he pretty had been drifted off because of an unlucky wave. And of course, when that happens you had to do a self-rescue.”

As Te Kāea were filming our story about surfing safety today, large swells one of the kite surfers went missing and put surf lifesavers and onlookers into a panic. He was soon after found safe, he is very experienced and that's the reason he was able to get out of the swell.

Metservice Forecaster Gerard Bellam says, “These experienced surfers can get amongst and less experienced ones would wanna look for sheltered areas inside harbours or areas when the waves refract around from there because there’s a lot of energy in the swell at the moment. It’s a long period swell.”

“When you’re in a situation like that it is just to keep calm pretty much and just figure out a solution to your problem and don’t say ‘oh you're gonna die’ because that’s not usually going to happen,” says Molskred.

According to DrownBase and Water Safety New Zealand, there were 96 drowning incidents last year. Met Service says that their aim is to keep people as informed as possible about the water conditions this summer to avoid more deaths happening.

“It’s quite dangerous conditions now for going out for a fish, we wanted people to get those crayfish pots in and tie their mornings and so on because it’s quite dangerous with that big powerful swell,” says Bellum.

MetService say that waves are expected to reach 4.5 metres today and tomorrow and will then be making their way up the east coast of the country.