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 Budget

It may seem like Oliver to be so bold as to ask the Finance Minister for more gruel – but what the Dickens, Steven Joyce… is this Budget really as good as it gets?

Supposedly, the public was going to receive significant rewards – an election year lolly scramble no less – for the eight years of belt tightening that they’ve endured, and for the rundown of essential public services.

Well, what Budget 2017 delivered instead in Education and in Health were allocations barely sufficient to maintain the current levels of service delivery More>>

Scoop Full Coverage: of Budget Announcements & Reaction
Latest: Scoop Search

 
 

Auditor-General Stands Down For Investigation: Gordon Campbell On (Not) Taking Responsibility

So Martin Matthews, our current Auditor-General wishes he could have detected “earlier” the fraud that occurred on his watch at the Ministry of Transport. Hmmm. But he could have detected it earlier, surely? That’s the point. More>>

ALSO:

NGOs Pleased: Govt To Halt Collection Of Client Data

Brenda Pilott, the chair of ComVoices and national manager of Social Service Providers Aotearoa, congratulates the government on its decision to call a halt to the collection of individual client data until the concerns of not-for-profit service providers have been worked through. More>>

ALSO:

Gosh: Blasphemy Law Repeal Struck Down

Chris Hipkins, the MP who tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to add our Blasphemy Law to the Statutes Repeal Bill, said this was a "sad day for freedom of speech, tolerance, and leadership". More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Navy’s Dealings With Fat Leonard, And Twin Peaks

At an official level, our “she’ll be right” attitude routinely spills over into a keen resentment of anyone who suggests the outcomes may be less than satisfactory… The Navy has now gone one step beyond. It won’t even ask itself whether it did a good job. More>>

ALSO:

NZDF: Fifth Rotation Of Troops Heads To Iraq

The fifth rotation of New Zealand Defence Force troops left today for a six-month mission training Iraqi soldiers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Demonising Of Iran

Will New Zealand still be willing to pursue its recent trade overtures to Iran, now that US President Donald Trump has used his speech in Riyadh to single out Iran as the main source of terrorism and instability in the Middle East? More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 

Opening The Election Supporters

 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election