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First Aid Double Whammy Wins Omaha Beach SLSC 3rd Place

Omaha SLSC Surf Lifeguards helped rescue a young boy and his mother in mid-December 2020.

It was a late afternoon in mid-December and families were enjoying the early summer sun at Omaha Beach.

The bucolic scene nearly turned tragic, however, when a child alerted Surf Lifeguards that a second child has been caught out in the water and was struggling to return to shore.

In the time it took the Surf Lifeguards to arrive, the child’s mother – who had minimal swimming ability – had entered the water to try and rescue her son. Five Surf Lifeguards arrived at the scene; three entered the water with tubes and a board while the other two remained on shore to assist.

Both mother and son were brought back to shore and an assessment was made by the team, who discovered that the boy had taken in quite a bit of water. Both mother and son were beginning to show signs of shock. It was also established the mother and other adult family members present had been drinking, making it hard to both get the story straight and confirm how serious the mother’s condition was.

The ambulance was experiencing delays, so the local fire service call-out squad arrived to assist until the ambulance arrived. The boy was taken to Starship Hospital to be monitored overnight and the mother was discharged to family members.

It’s important to note, in this instance, that Patrol Captain Katherine Nicholls & Vice Patrol Captain Sophie Martin had only done a Senior Guard PC course the previous weekend and were managing a young and relatively inexperienced patrol.

The fact that alcohol was involved made management of the scene and family members difficult, especially for younger lifeguards. Three of the guards involved were newly-qualified in November.

bp NZ Managing Director, Matt Elliott says bp is “incredibly proud” to have partnered with Surf Life Saving New Zealand for more than 50 years.

“Since 1968, bp has been proud to stand behind Surf Life Saving New Zealand and its Surf Lifeguards, who consistently put their amazing skills into action to keep us all safer at our beaches.”

As the third-place recipient of bp Rescue of the Month, Omaha Beach SLSC will be recognised with $200-worth of bp gift vouchers.


Always keep a close eye on children in or near the water. Keep young children within arms’ reach at all times.

© Scoop Media

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