Leon Mickelson was fishing for paua at Red Rock Beach in Hawke's Bay when he was swamped by a metre-high surge of water, followed by two more waves. He had no idea a tsunami alert had been issued.
"This wall of water just hit me. I was getting tumbled across all the rocks, it was unbelievable. The force was just unstoppable. There was no way you could fight it, you just had to roll with it."
The water then sucked him 20 metres out into the ocean, bouncing over rocks. "It was like being in a washing machine. It just completely and utterly caught us out."
Mr Mickelson, 30, managed to swim ashore, and suffered cuts and bruises.No news of the paua has been reported. Meanwhile, in other news, 700 people in Chile are dead, two million are displaced. On Nine to Noon Kathryn Ryan talked to a man who has a daughter in Chile; she is fine, but they have had some difficulty keeping in contact with her.
Coming up: is New Zealand media parochial? We talk to somebody with a book to sell.