Two Napier men and their boat were saved by locals at a busy Hawke's Bay boat ramp yesterday.
The rescue at the Clifton Marine Club between midday and 1pm was instigated when the men did not have enough fuel on board to get from Cape Kidnappers back to their boat trailer parked in Napier.
Club member Ian Chapman said that without help, the men definitely would have lost their boat, at least.
"If the club wasn't there that boat would have been in serious trouble, it would never ever have got back to Napier," he said. "The wind had come up to 30 knots, gusting to 40 knots, and they didn't have enough fuel to risk making it back over. It was northerly so it would have ended up washing them back up the beach with pretty serious consequences."
The distressed boat's radio had cut out and there was no time to call Coastguard as one of the older men on board was getting very affected by the cold, Mr Chapman said.
"There was luckily half a dozen club members here in the camp at the time that were able to assist and get the boat up the beach effectively."
The club's winch was used to pull the boat out of the surf break until the men's trailer was delivered from Napier, he said.
"We got their boat back on the trailer and they drove out of here very, very happy and they thanked us very, very much. They were lucky we were here because it could have ended up, well I'd hate to think how it could have ended up.
"If we weren't here they wouldn't have had much chance - no one else knows how to use the winch. They may have been able to swim to shore but would have lost their boat for sure."