Streaker granny rescues man from creek

21:32, Sep 26 2011
Betty Messent
ON THE RUN: Betty Messent in the Rugby World Cup-themed Air New Zealand safety video.

A 78-year-old woman famous for streaking on an airline information video has rescued a man who fell into a creek he was trying to urinate in.

Betty Messent of Henderson, in Auckland, is known to some Kiwis for her cheeky acting roles, including her cameo as the streaker in Air New Zealand's Rugby World Cup-themed in-flight safety video.

Ms Messent and her partner, Russell Officer, were walking home along Henderson Creek after grocery shopping last Thursday afternoon when they heard a man's cries for help coming from under a bridge.

Betty Messent
PLUCKY PAIR: Betty and her partner, Russell Officer.

"We got to him as fast as we could and he was half in the water, clinging on to the bushes for his life. He was very incoherent but you could see he was distressed and cold. He looked like he couldn't hold on much longer," Ms Messent said.

Mr Officer said they weren't able to pull the man out of the water so they used their cellphone to call emergency services.

Henderson senior station officer Jim Maclean said the man had one foot stuck in the mud and was very unsteady on his feet when his crew arrived. He said the elderly couple saved the man's life.


The pair initially thought the man had fallen off his bike into the creek but Mr Maclean said the man's unzipped fly told a different story.

"Judging by the number of empty beer cans surrounding the park bench his bike was parked at it appears that he may have been enjoying a few brews and then nature called."

The man managed to thank the couple before being taken to Waitakere Hospital's emergency department to be treated for hypothermia.

He was discharged later that afternoon.