A police officer stripped to his underwear to rescue a man who jumped off Mangere Bridge yesterday afternoon, while another commandeered a nearby waka to take them to safety.
The incident unfolded when police spotted a man standing on the wrong side of the barrier on the 30m-high bridge.
Two nearby constables sprinted down to the water when he jumped.
A male constable discarded his clothes and boots because they were too obstructive, before swimming out to the man in only his underwear.
A strong current meant the rescue was difficult and a female constable from Onehunga also took the plunge into the cold water to keep the man afloat.
Another constable on the scene gave constant updates to the communications team while a sergeant looked for a way to get the three safely to shore.
A group in a nearby waka gave up their vessel for the Onehunga-based officer who paddled out and dragged the trio into the boat.
By the time they got to shore an ambulance was waiting for the man, who had become unconscious.
He was taken to hospital with suspected hypothermia and other injuries from his fall.
The first constable to swim out was also treated for lacerations to his hands and feet, from rocks, shells and glass in the water.
Counties Manukau west area commander Jason Hewett said he was proud of the efforts of all involved in what were very challenging conditions.
The incident happened at the same spot in the Manukau Harbour where So'saia Paasi and seven-year-old son Tio drowned after their dinghy capsized in May.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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