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Search and rescue teams kept busy near Ruakaka

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Emergency services were kept busy this afternoon with reports of a light plane crash near Ruakaka Beach and then two children being caught in a rip at the Waipu River mouth.

About 1.15pm Police received multiple reports that a micro light plane had crashed into the sand dunes near Ruakaka Beach.

Police then started a search and rescue operation and set up a base at the Ruakaka Police Station.

The Northland Emergency Services Trust Electricity Rescue Helicopter was called in to help look for the crashed plane.

Further inquiries revealed that it was most likely a gyrocopter that had been flying up and down between the sand dunes, which could have caused the impression that it had crashed.

About 2.35pm the pilot and gyrocopter were located at Whangarei Airport.

About 2pm, while the search for the missing gyrocopter was taking place, Police received reports that two children had been caught in a rip at the mouth of the Waipu River.

The helicopter searching for the missing gyrocopter was then sent to assist with the rescue of the two children and another NEST helicopter was deployed to continue searching for the gyrocopter.

Three police staff were also sent to the scene of the water rescue.

By the time police arrived relatives of the two children managed to pull them from the water, but the 11-year-old boy died at the scene.

The seven-year-old boy was safe and well.

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