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Lifeguards replicate mass refugee rescue at Okahu Bay

Lifeguards replicate mass refugee rescue scenario at Okahu Bay

Six members of the Bethells Beach Surf Lifesaving Club, who will travel to Greece on Anzac weekend to help with the refugee crisis, got hands on experience as they replicated a mass rescue scenario at Okahu Bay yesterday.

The team worked in conjunction with the Auckland Police Maritime Unit organising a training session at Okahu Bay in Auckland to replicate a mass rescue scenario, in preparation for what they will be experiencing in Greece.

The training consisted of a group of volunteers who over-crowded into a vessel and mimicked trying to reach the beach safely.

The Auckland Police Maritime Unit provided one of their own Rescue Bridges and trained the team on how to use and deploy the craft. The Covertex inflatable Rescue Bridge is a robust and stable platform for use on water, wetlands, ice and other unstable surfaces. The team will take their own Rescue Bridge, once it has been built, over to Greece along with their donated IRB and rescue equipment.

Auckland Marine Senior Sergeant Martin Paget, says the police have had rescue bridges since the late 90’s and are an important tool for their Mass Rescues. Paget adds that it was an honour to assist the team in their training on the use of the Rescue Bridge after seeing the immense efforts lifeguards giveback to our communities over summer, “We wish them the best of luck with all of their efforts and are very proud of the boys.”

Bethells Beach Surf Life Saving Patrol Committee member and one of the six volunteers heading to Greece, Dave Comp says that the team are extremely grateful for all of the donations and support they have received so far.

“We are very appreciative of everyone’s generosity in order for us to carry out this humanitarian project, the Rescue Bridge is going to be an invaluable part of our rescue mission. Not only is it a game changer it will ideally help to save the lives of many refugees, The Auckland Marine Police are legends to jump onboard with this and help us out with training the team.”

The Bethells beach team has recently received a generous donation from House of Travel, who will help assist with the teams travel requirements. And so far through the givalittle page donations the team have raised $10,340.00 but they still require at least another $30,000 for essential equipment, accommodation and insurance.

To support this cause please visit

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