Waikato surfer nearly drowns at champs

22:41, Oct 02 2012

A Waikato surfer competing at the National Scholastic Champs in Tarankai was taken to hospital yesterday after nearly drowning in large surf.

Wiremu Ormsby was competing in the under-18 boys division  at Fitzroy Beach when he was smashed by a big wave and held under the water.

St John operations manager Ian May said the 17-year-old was treated by St John paramedics and taken to Taranaki Base Hospital in a moderate condition.

Contest director Ben Kennings said Ormsby was given a chest x-ray and was kept under observation before being released yesterday afternoon.

"I talked to him all yesterday and this morning and he's alright," Kennings said.

Kennings said conditions were four to five foot (2m) and howling onshore at Fitzroy yesterday.

"It's just unfortunate he got a set right on the head."

Day three of the National Scholastic Champs are on at Fitzroy Beach today.

The longboard, under-14 boys, under-14 girls, under-16 girls and under-16 boys divisions will be surfing.

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