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Windsurfer rescued off Waitara

A Venezuelan windsurfer battled strong currents and wind for hours after getting into trouble off Waitara on Saturday.

"After two hours of trying to do a water start I was exhausted," Josue Hernandez said soon after his rescue at the hands of a local jet skier.

"The current was stronger than me and I was exhausted," the 25-year-old, who has lived in New Plymouth for the past nine months, said.

His windsurfer was left behind and was last seen drifting north along the rugged coastline.

Mr Hernandez said he was practising water starts on a new board and rig when he got into trouble about 11am. "If you are not moving the board just sinks. The waves were just making it real hard for me because I am just learning," he said.

Fortunately for him, Waitara's Andy Mabin had gone to check the surf about 12.30pm and was told by police of the windsurfer's plight and that they had been unable to contact any surf lifesavers to assist.

"I told them I had a jet ski at home and would go out and get him," Mr Mabin said.

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