Lifeguards proved their worth and scored the national Rescue of the Month title after four dramatic rescues in one day at Bethells Beach.
Patrollers there were celebrating the qualification of 17 new lifeguards and wrapping up their patrol for the day on December 22 when the action really started.
The team had already rescued a man who had a mild stroke in the surf and were packing up when the alarm was raised that a young man had been pulled from the water by friends.
Lifeguards Dean Maddaford and Shane Dwyer found the man unconscious but still breathing so they took him to their base in their inflatable rescue boat (IRB) for further treatment until an ambulance came.
Some lifeguards headed home at 6.10pm. Lisa McCallum was one of them, but she was soon hailed by two people who had found a young man face down in a stream flowing from nearby Lake Wainamu.
The man appeared heavily intoxicated and said his friends had abandoned him. Lisa got him into her car, quickly returning to the surf club where the team started to treat him but he became agitated and police assistance was requested.
At 6.30pm the patrol heard someone was stuck in a rip at adjoining O'Neill Bay. Jimmy Kendrick got the message and quickly responded with club president Adrian Jenkins.
They sent the first IRB, followed by Phil Jenkins and Cameron Styles on a second. The patient was found lying unconscious face down in the water.
Jimmy did CPR on the way back to Bethells Beach where a team was waiting with a defibrillator and first-aid equipment. The man was taken to hospital by the Westpac rescue helicopter.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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