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Fast action from public, police save man overboard

NZ Police CommCens Alert 16:00 19-06-2006 North Shore Waitekere Rodney

Location of incident: Beachhaven, North Shore

Incident Type: Fast action from public and police save elderly man overboard

An elderly man who fell from his dinghy into Beachhaven Inlet this afternoon was rescued as a result of a quick response from witnesses and the police to the incident.

The man fell overboard while getting into the dinghy from another boat, and attempted unsuccessfully to swim to shore amid strong winds and rain.

Two members of the public separately phoned 111, and police communications staff quickly dispatched police by land and sea, with the police Eagle helicopter co-ordinating the rescue effort.

The first police officer to arrive at the scene swam out to the man, who was approximately 100m from the shore, and stayed with him as he clung to the dinghy, until the police launch arrived.

Police Northern Communications Centre Shift Commander Inspector Matt Sillars said the swift actions of the two eye-witnesses, Police communications centre staff, and police patrols, had averted a tragedy at sea. "The victim did the right thing in staying with the boat until Police were able to rescue him, but this is a timely reminder of the need for everyone to wear a life-jacket when at sea."


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