The man was airlifted to hospital by helicopter after the boat he was in hit a rock at high speed at Cooks Beach in the Coromandel, New Zealand

A man remains in a critical condition in hospital after a boat hit a rock at high speed in Cooks Beach in the Coromandel, New Zealand.

He was one of four people in the aluminium boat when the accident happened.

An off-duty policeman and his friend, who were on Cooks Beach at the time of the incident, used a rubber dinghy to rescue three people from the 6.5-metre boat.

They decided to leave the fourth badly injured man until the arrival of a rescue helicopter.

The crash happened during the evening of 28 January, 2017.

Conditions at the time were described as “good”.

Video: Five fishermen rescued from sinking boat in the Irish Sea

Speaking to the news website,, the Whitianga deputy harbourmaster, Calvin Hick, said it looked like the boat had hit the rock at high speed, “forcing the boat out of the water”.

Witnesses to the accident went to assist.

“There happened to be an off-duty police officer who was at Cooks Beach and he and a friend went out on a rubber ducky and rescued three people from the boat,” continued Hicks.

The deputy harbourmaster added that although it was good weather for boating at the time of the accident “when you crash at high speed on water, the same thing happens as it does on the roads”.

The man, who is from Hamilton, was taken to Waikato Hospital in a critical condition, and remains in intensive care.

The other three people in the boat didn’t need hospital treatment.