Desperate efforts to save brother

JOELLE DALLY
Last updated 19:37 06/07/2014

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Heavy surf thwarted a man’s repeated attempts to save his brother after a jet ski accident in North Canterbury.

The 45-year-old father-of-three from Pines Beach died after he was eventually dragged onto the beach at the Waimakariri River mouth about 10.15am today.

Attempts to revive him failed.

The two brothers and a friend, all experienced jet skiers and wearing life jackets, set out from a yacht club on the Waimakariri River, police said.

They planned to jet ski south towards New Brighton, but the 45-year-old came off while trying to clear waves at the Waimakariri bar.

"They were only five minutes into their trip. The other two riders got through the surf. They looked back and couldn’t see his brother," Sergeant Colin Stewart said.

"He saw the jet ski floating and found his brother floating in the water about 50 metres away."

He rode over and tried to help his brother onto his own jet ski but those attempts "proved fruitless" because of the heavy surf, Stewart said.

"The waves were quite high. Every time he would try to get beside him, another wave came along."

Because they were not too far to shore, the man eventually ditched his own jet ski and, with the help of a passing walker who waded out, managed to get his brother onto the beach.

By this time, the 45-year-old was unconscious.

"The sea is cold at the moment, which could have been a factor," Stewart said.

"They performed CPR until an ambulance arrived. Unfortunately, he was pronounced dead on the beach."

The death had been referred to the coroner. 

The man’s name is expected to be released tomorrow.

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- Fairfax Media

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