Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Harbour rescue a wake-up call, says police lifesaver

Harbour rescue a wake-up call, says police lifesaver

A police constable who led the rescue of two 11-year-old boys and a 31-year-old man from heavy seas in the Bay of Plenty says the incident demonstrates the need for all water users to be alert for the dangers around our coasts.

Constable Dean Oswald - who has been involved in surf lifesaving since childhood - stripped to his underwear and plunged into Ohiwa Harbour to reach the boys, who had got caught in a rip, and the man who had got into trouble while trying to save them.

He praised another man and a 19-year-old who arrived at the beach with lifejackets and waded out behind him to aid the rescue. They reached one child and Dean reached the other, then the pair escorted the boys to shore while Dean swam out further to reach the man.

Dean said: "One of the boys said 'My uncle, my uncle' and I saw him further out, lying face-up with waves breaking over him. He was conscious but I'd say pretty close to going under. It took about 15 minutes to pull him back to shore - every time a wave came I said to him 'close your eyes, close your mouth, we're going under'."

Once ashore the three were picked up by helicopter and taken to Whakatane Hospital. One boy was kept in overnight but is understood to be recovering.

Dean said: "This was just an evening swim for these kids and shows how quickly things can turn around. It was a fantastic result but I see this as a wake-up call - we get way too many drownings every year."

He said the sea was rough with waves more than a metre high. It is estimated the boys and the uncle were in the sea for around 40 minutes.

Dean was attending a public policing event at Ohope Fire Station when the call came in about 7.50pm yesterday (Weds 2 January). Amid initial uncertainty about the exact location of the swimmers, Dean dispatched his colleague Constable Adam Keno in a car to the Ohiwa side of the harbour while he set off along Ohope Beach on a quad bike.

Near Ohope golf course he was flagged down by a frantic woman and a group of children. Climbing on the quad bike, he saw one of the boys in the water had raised an arm for help.

He said: "I've got to give credit to those two 11-year-olds - to have been in the water for that long and to have maintained their strength and ability to keep their heads above the water was quite amazing.

"The two who helped the rescue did brilliantly - turning up with lifejackets was great."

Eastern Bay of Plenty Area Commander Inspector Sandra Venables praised Dean for his actions, and Adam for the support he provided. She said: "These people were very lucky that officers with detailed local knowledge were in the right place at the right time. With his surf lifesaving skills, I can't think of another officer better able to deal with such a situation than Dean."

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Ch-Ch-Changes At IRD

job cuts aren’t happening at the IRD, exactly. Instead, there’s apparently a ‘transformation’ in store, and jobs won’t be axed ; no, they will be ‘transformed’ before our eyes into… non-jobs, if you happen to be among the unlucky legion of 1,900 who are being lined up for transformation, which seems to work rather like a secular version of the Rapture.

Except that at IRD, not even your shoes will be left behind. More>>

 

Christchurch Mental Health: Hospital Too 'Awful' For Reviewers To Visit

Jonathan Coleman has to stop the stalling over a new building for mental health services in Christchurch to replace the quake damaged Princess Margaret Hospital, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark... More>>

ALSO:

Greens Call For Govt Action: Children Sick Because Of NZ Housing

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians president-elect said today that children with preventable respiratory illnesses are being re-admitted to hospital because they're being sent back to cold, damp homes. More>>

ALSO:

Less Tax Cut, More Spending: Labour Launches Fiscal Plan

“Labour will invest $8 billion more in health, $4 billion more in education and $5 billion more for Kiwi families through Working for Families, Best Start and the Winter Energy Payment than the Budget 2017 projections for the forecast period.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Greens’ Room For Political Pragmatism

The Greens here are currently being criticized by the commentariat for not making the same kind of pragmatic choices that sunk the Democrats in Australia. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Being Humane About Welfare, Child Support, And Tax

It made for an unusual Venn diagram, but Greens co-leader Metiria Turei and Finance Minister Steven Joyce were briefly sharing some common elements this week in the set that says – hey, don’t use the powers of the state in ways guaranteed to make the system you’re trying to defend worse, not better. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election