Three people were pulled from the ocean in a dramatic rescue yesterday after their fishing boat was hit by waves and capsized near Castlepoint.
A 12-year-old girl was trapped beneath the upturned fishing boat and her Masterton father suffered a head injury.
Castlepoint fire chief Anders Crofoot said three people were plunged into the water at the notoriously rough The Gap after their small fishing boat's engine cut out about 10.30am.
Conditions were calm, but three large waves barrelled through the small harbour entrance, causing their boat to capsize. The man was hit on the head as the boat upturned and his daughter was trapped briefly before swimming to safety.
By the time the volunteer fire service arrived, the boat and its occupants had been pulled out of the water by other boaties in the area, Crofoot said.
The Westpac Rescue Helicopter airlifted the man to Masterton Hospital with a gashed head, while his daughter came out of the incident unscathed, he said.
"He seemed to be in pretty good shape except for a nasty cut."
Good weather helped the rescue in an area where people could "quickly come to grief", Crofoot said.
"It's actually quite a gorgeous day and reasonably flat."
The dramatic rescue was the second of three back-to-back callouts the Westpac Rescue Helicopter responded to yesterday.
About 10am a rescue crew assisted two hunters in distress at Cape Palliser who were waving a large orange flag, which was noticed by a boat. The pair had problems with their GPS and had become disoriented. They were winched to safety.
A 46-year-old motocross rider was flown to Wellington Hospital after he broke his leg during an organised ride in the Ohariu Valley near Mt Kau Kau.
The Lower Hutt man heard his bone snap after his foot landed in a hole about midday.
The Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter airlifted a mountain biker from the Kahuterawa Valley after he fell on a section of the track yesterday afternoon. He was stabilised at the scene by a St John advanced paramedic and the volunteer helicopter crewman.
On Saturday, air rescue crews responded to three callouts, including a man who died from a heart attack on the Pauatahanui Golf Course.