Aeronautic machinists 23-year-olds Adam Turnbull and Dan Melling have “knocked the bastard off” and crossed the Cook Strait in a converted amphibious 1990 Toyota Town Ace van travelling the 65-km distance in nine hours and 45 minutes, becoming the first ever such vessel to cross the stretch of water. The pair were met by a crowd of about 200 people at Mana Marina, who greeted them with a heroes’ welcome as the van, named ‘Roofliss’, drove unscathed out of the water. “We are definitely pretty stoked. It [the crossing] has got to be up there. She’s pretty high in New Zealand achievements,” Melling said. “We made it and we didn’t sink and we didn’t get eaten by sharks.” Turnbull and Melling welded all the van’s doors shut, fitted steel panels inside, and used three 44 gallon drums of expanding foam pumped into cracks and crevices to ensure the vessel was watertight and floated.