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Not a good Friday

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Tragedy has marked the beginning of the Easter Weekend with a drowning in Ngawi and a horrific head-on collision in Featherston.

Police confirmed a 63-year-old man died in a water-related incident off the coast of Cape Palliser Rd on Friday.

Emergency services, including a rescue helicopter, rushed to the fishing village after reports of a small boat capsizing with two people on board at about 10:30am.

It was reported that a wave hit the fishing boat, overturning it and that the man who died was a local.

Chief fire officer of the Martinborough brigade, Jake Hawkins, said the crew assisted the Ngawi brigade and performed CPR for about an hour.

However, the man died at the scene.

Police said the other person on board the boat was “safe and well”.

Police extended its condolences to the deceased man’s family and friends and said inquiries would be made on behalf of the coroner.

Emergency services again flooded South Wairarapa after reports of a serious head-on crash on State Highway 53 early yesterday afternoon.

Three people suffered injuries in the collision at the intersection of Camp Rd and South Featherston Rd.


One person was flown by helicopter to Wellington Hospital in a serious condition, and two people were transported to Wairarapa Hospital in a moderate condition.

Featherston chief fire officer Colin McKenna confirmed the ‘jaws of life’ were needed to extricate the driver trapped in the crushed black car.

He said the second occupant of the car was outside the vehicle when the Featherston and Greytown brigades arrived.

A person fled the scene of a serious crash in which two people were taken to Masterton Hospital in a moderate condition and one flown to Wellington Hospital in a serious condition.

Witnesses said the driver of the second vehicle involved, a ute, stole another car and fled the scene.

Nearby resident Malcolm Morgan said he came across the crash almost immediately and pulled over to offer help.

He said the young driver of the ute jumped in his car and bolted down South Featherston Rd.

He said another motorist pursued her almost 6km to the edge of Lake Wairarapa, eventually running her off the road.

Morgan said she was monitored until police arrived.

He said his Suzuki had suffered some damage as a result of the theft with the driver’s door now caved in.

“That’s what you get for trying to help someone.”

A resident of South Featherston Rd said the crash sounded like a ‘wooden pallet’ falling over and did not realise what had happened until he heard the rescue helicopter arrive.

Another resident described the scene of the crash as a tricky intersection on a blind corner.

He said motorists travelling north along South Featherston Rd rarely adhered to the 50km speed limit as they approached SH53.

Traffic management was in place for at least two hours while the police Serious Crash Unit investigated.

In a separate incident, emergency services said a driver had a lucky escape after a crash just north of Masterton on Thursday night.

The car landed upside down in a water race after veering off a corner on Loopline Rd, Opaki, shortly after 9pm.

Masterton fire brigade cut a young woman from her car after she crashed the vehcile on Loopline Rd landing upside down in a water race

Masterton chief fire officer Mike Cornford said officers had to cut the young woman from the vehicle after the roof buckled.

“She went through a fence and cartwheeled for about 25-30m.”

“She was extremely lucky the water was only two feet deep, and she was able to sit above it.”

He said it was more than likely a seatbelt saved her life. Wellington Free Ambulance confirmed the driver was taken to Wairarapa Hospital in a moderate condition.

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