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


Lifeguards honoured for saving stroke victim’s life

10 April 2019

Waihi Beach surf lifeguards honoured for saving stroke victim’s life

Volunteer surf lifeguards from Waihi Beach Lifeguard Service have been awarded with the national BP Rescue of the Month award for plucking a man from the surf who had suffered a stroke while surfing in February.

Their response in this rescue required a multitude of skills including the ability to notice someone in distress in the water, paddling a patient back to shore, providing first aid and coordinating an emergency response including an ambulance handover.

Fortunately, the club was full of surf lifeguards setting up for the BP IRB North Island Championships happening that weekend, when Nathaniel Palla and former lifeguard Thomas Carter noticed something was wrong with another surfer. Upon assessment, Palla and Carter knew he needed immediate attention.

They paddled the patient back to shore behind another lifeguard, Duncan Gibson, who rushed back to shore, raised the alarm at the beach and started arranging for more help.

That’s when Matthew Lloyd, Maddie Scown, Bent Grant and Michiel Cumming leapt into action to provide first-aid, which is critically important for victims of a stroke. Jordyn McClennan and Lloyd met the arriving ambulance, which transported the patient to hospital where he began his road to recovery.

Eastern Region Lifesaving Manager, Chase Cahalane said without the intervention of the lifeguards from Waihi Beach, the outcome could have been tragic.

“We’re incredibly proud of the efforts by this group of lifeguards, who undoubtedly avoided a very tragic outcome for this patient,” he said. “They did an excellent job and we’d like to thank them for everything they did on that day.”

“Rescues aren’t all about getting beachgoers out of trouble in the water. Sometimes it is about lifeguards recognising someone in trouble and giving them the best care possible, which often includes time-critical, high quality first-aid like this case.”

At the time of the rescue, the patient’s mother sent a note to the surf lifeguards involved to thank them and said that thanks to their expertise, he was safely transported to hospital where he was slowly starting to mend.

“Last Friday your team saved my son’s life. He was surfing at the beach when he had a stroke. Although you were not officially on duty, someone noticed him lying on his board and thought they should take a look,” she said.

“He is a Dad with a loving wife and four wonderful children. No words can express all what I want to say, so I will simply say - THANK YOU - from a very very grateful mother.”

BP NZ Managing Director Debi Boffa said the skills demonstrated by the team in the rescue were outstanding.

“Congratulations to the volunteer surf lifeguards from Waihi Beach for an awesome team effort during this recent rescue. It’s a great example of the work Surf Life Saving New Zealand and their member clubs do year round to help save the lives of thousands of people as well as educate people about how to stay safe on our beaches,” she said.

For their efforts, Waihi Beach LS get a $500 BP gift-card to help with running costs, and further recognition of this “amazing rescue”.

Papamoa SLSC managed to secure second to Waihi Beach LS and with that, they get a $300 BP gift card for helping a patient who suffered a physical injury in the water.

Rounding out the top three rescues in February is Kariaotahi SLSC, near Waiuku, who take home $200 of BP vouchers for their club for their efforts in a first aid response, while also rescuing 10 people from a rip current.

SLSNZ National Lifesaving Manager, Allan Mundy, said the variety of skills used in each of the top three awards this month goes to show the versatile and high-quality skill of surf lifeguards and how much they help their community.

“This month we’ve seen Surf Life Saving Clubs recognised for helping people in a multitude of different scenarios, all of which could have ended tragically without the intervention of surf lifeguards. From a medical event, to a physical injury in the water, and a mass rescue of people from a rip current, they did it all this month,” he said.

“Everyone at SLSNZ is incredibly proud of all our volunteer surf lifeguards and can’t thank them enough for their time, dedication and care in helping people around Aotearoa,” he added.

The final winner of BP Rescue of the Month for this current summer season will be announced later in April.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

New Reports: Flood Risk From Rain And Sea Under Climate Change

One report looks at what would happen when rivers are flooded by heavy rain and storms, while the other examines flooding exposure in coastal and harbour areas and how that might change with sea-level rise.

Their findings show that across the country almost 700,000 people and 411,516 buildings worth $135 billion are presently exposed to river flooding in the event of extreme weather events...

There is near certainty that the sea will rise 20-30 cm by 2040. By the end of the century, depending on whether global greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, it could rise by between 0.5 to 1.1 m, which could add an additional 116,000 people exposed to extreme coastal storm flooding. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Commerce Commission Fuel Report

The interim Commerce Commission report on the fuel industry will do nothing to endear the major oil companies to the New Zealand public... More>>


Emergency Govt Bill: Overriding Local Licensing For The Rugby

“It’s pretty clear some clubs are having difficulty persuading their district licensing committees to grant a special licence to extend their hours for this obviously special event, and so it makes sense for Parliament to allow clubs to meet a community desire." More>>


Leaving Contract Early: KiwiBuild Programme Losing Another Top Boss

Ms O'Sullivan began a six-month contract as head of KiwiBuild Commercial in February, but the Housing Ministry has confirmed she has resigned and will depart a month early to take up a new job. More>>


Proposed National Policy Statement: Helping Our Cities Grow Up And Out

“We need a new approach to planning that allows our cities to grow up, especially in city centres and around transport connections. We also have to allow cities to expand in a way that protects our special heritage areas, the natural environment and highly productive land." More>>


Ombudsman's Report: Ngāpuhi Elder 'Shocked' By Conditions At Ngawha Prison

A prominent Ngāpuhi elder is shocked to find inmates at Ngawha Prison are denied water and forced to relieve themselves in the exercise yard... Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has released a report highly critical of conditions at the Northland prison. More>>


Promises: Independent Election Policy Costing Unit A Step Closer

The creation of an entity to provide political parties with independent and non-partisan policy costings is a step closer today, according to Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Associate Finance Minister James Shaw. More>>


School's In: Primary And Intermediate Principals Accept New Offer

Primary and intermediate school principals have voted to accept a new settlement from the Ministry of Education, which includes entrenched pay parity with secondary principals. More>>


IPCA On 'Rawshark' Investigation: Multiple Police Failings In Hager Searches Confirmed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that the Police's unlawful search of Nicky Hager's property in October 2014 resulted from an unwitting neglect of duty and did not amount to misconduct by any individual officer... More>>


Broadcasting Standards: Decisions On Coverage Of Mosque Attacks

The Authority upheld one of these complaints, finding that the use of extensive excerpts from the alleged attacker’s livestream video on Sky News New Zealand had the potential to cause significant distress to audiences in New Zealand, and particularly to the family and friends of victims, and the wider Muslim community. More>>




InfoPages News Channels