Teen clings to cliff for two hours

22:29, Apr 09 2014
SAFE AND SOUND: Orewa lifeguards Tain Johnston and Ian Syddins take the young man to the sheltered safety of Hatfields Beach.

Repeat rescuer Theo Hoffman is a hero once more after plucking a teenager from a cliff shelf on a rising tide.

Hoffman was in his boat fishing off the northern end of Auckland's Orewa Beach on Sunday when he heard cries for help at around 1pm.

He lifted anchor and started searching the cliff area, eventually spotting a distraught young man stuck on a small ledge with waves crashing on rocks below.

Stranded teen
CLIFF CLING: The teen stranded on a small ledge by the tide and swell.

The youth was stranded by the tide and a fairly large swell.

"I went as close to the rocks as I could and told him to hang in while I headed back out a bit and rang 111," Hoffman said.

He circled round in his boat keeping any eye on the victim and calling out to him that help was on its way.


Theo Hoffman
THIRD RESCUE: Theo Hoffman has been in the right place at the right time to help people on three occasions.

Two lifeguards arrived in a rescue boat and soon had the situation under control.

"The young guy was in a bit of shock," Hoffman said. " This guy was very lucky I was out there at the time because he'd been on that ledge for two hours."

It's the third rescue he had been involved in during recent years.

He helped lift a car out of cafe window in Orewa last June and discovered a friend had been hit and injured.

He also helped save a 10-year-old girl from being kidnapped in April 2007, dashing to her aid and ensuring she got home safely. Hoffman then chased the would-be kidnapper's car in his own vehicle but lost sight of it.

Rodney Times