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 Greens Proposal To Gradually Lift The Minimum Wage

Heading into the election home stretch, voters have a clear choice about the best way to help low and middle income New Zealanders. They can do so by gradually lifting the minimum wage (as the Greens propose) or by a small tax cut, as the government seems about to announce.

The minimum wage boost – by 75 cents an hour to $15 in December, and then by gradual annual increments to $18 an hour by 2017 – that the Greens are talking about is just one part of a packet of employment measures that would include scrapping youth rates and the 90 day trial period, introducing a redundancy package of four weeks, offsetting any abatement effect of the policy package for those receiving Working For Families, and finally… ditching the exception made by the government (during the Hobbit negotiations) for workers in the screen industry, which denies them normal workplace safeguards and entitlements. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

2014 General Election: Voting Period Begins

The first votes for the 2014 general election will be cast today, Wednesday 3 September, as advance voting begins ahead of election day on Saturday 20 September. More>>

ALSO:

Two Dead, One Injured: Suspect Charged After Ashburton Shooting

Russell John Tully has appeared in Christchurch District Court. Tully has been remanded in custody on charges of murder of Peg Noble and Leigh Cleveland and attempted murder of Lindy Curtis. More>>

ALSO:

John Key Press Conference: Ashburton Shootings, Judith Collins Inquiry

Prime Minister John Key has delayed the release of Nationals’ fiscal policy in light of this morning’s shooting at a Work and Income office in Ashburton... Key also answered questions about Judith Collins, and confirmed that independent inquiry will be held with regard to allegations made against Collins. More>>

ALSO:

Internet MANA: Georgina Beyer Rocks The Waka

“There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the vast majority of MANA members and supporters around the country” states MANA Candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes. More>>

ALSO:

IGIS Update: Inquiry Into Release Of NZSIS Information

The Inquiry would be conducted in private and individuals would appear before her separately over a period of more than a week. She does not intend to name those summoned to give evidence until her report is published. “I can confirm that all persons summoned will be required to appear under oath...” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On John Key’s ‘Blame It On Judith’ Strategy

Right now, Prime Minister John Key seems intent on limiting the scope of any inquiry into his government’s dealings with Cameron Slater. The declared aim is to make that inquiry solely about Judith Collins’ behavior with respect to the Serious Fraud Office. More>>

ALSO:

Maori Council Lawyers' Statement: Supreme Court Decision On Maori Water Rights

“…the Supreme Court refused to give Pouakani people what they asked for, but may have given them something much, much better instead… the Supreme Court has questioned whether the Crown owns the River at all.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Debate, And The Collins Accusation

Debating is a peculiar discipline in that what you say is less important than how you’re saying it. Looking poised, being articulate and staying on topic generally wins the day – and on that score, Labour leader David Cunliffe won what turned out to be a bruising encounter with Prime Minister John Key last night on TVNZ. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news