Elderly woman 11th person to be rescued by surf lifeguards
A 70-year-old woman from Kumeu is the eleventh person to be rescued from their homes by Surf Life Saving Search and Rescue (SAR) squads today.
Lifeguards from the Mairangi Bay SLSC SAR Squad carefully navigated the challenging floodwaters, which contained hidden trees and fences, to reach the women’s property off Oraha Road around 2pm.
They carried her to their inflatable rescue boat (IRB) before navigating back to a point-of-safety where she was looked after by Police and Fire & Emergency Services.
The rescue caps off a massive day for the Muriwai Volunteer Lifesaving Patrol and Mairangi Bay SAR squads, some of whom have been responding since 5:30am.
A total of 11 people were rescued by the surf lifeguards today, with another 47 people checked on, or provided assistance.
Two men aged between 45 and 60 were rescued by Muriwai lifeguards around 6:30am this morning at Tapu Road.
One was rescued off the top of a shed, while lifeguards had to remove louvers from the window of another shed to rescue the other. He was waist-deep in water, which had trapped him since about 10pm yesterday.
A young man was later rescued by the Muriwai guards from a sleepout and reunited with his family in their home at Cane Road. Welfare checks were performed on residents in other houses along the street.
The Muriwai SAR Squad were then tasked to a number of properties in Huapai, rescuing a couple, their baby and their dog from a property on Rheingold Place, as well as a woman, her two teenage sons and the family’s two dogs and cat from a property on Pinotage Place.
Welfare checks were also performed on people in Joyce Adams Place, Matua Road, Taupaki Road, Crafer Way, Riverhead Road and Kiwitahi Road.
Search and Rescue Supervisor John-Michael Swannix says it’s been an incredible effort by their volunteers, with added challenges due to the Level 4 environment.
“I think it just goes to show the massive commitment our lifeguards have to their communities,”
“Even during a global pandemic, we have people putting their hand up to help others and look at the incredible difference they’ve made today.”
SLSNR CEO Matt Williams says the day’s roster of rescues and checks were a heart-warming demonstration of the valuable role played by lifeguards in such emergencies. “We’re so proud of these volunteers.”