Busy Christmas for Surf Life Saving

Photo: File.

Surf Life Saving crews across the country were busy yesterday, with one drowning, two shark spottings and a number of major and minor first aid measures.

There was a tragic crab fisherman fatality at Uretiti Beach yesterday. Ruakaka Surf Life Saving Patrol and Waipu Cove Surf Life Saving Club responded very quickly but the male fisherman had already been swept away. Ruakaka Inflatable Rescue Boat recovered the body.

Lifeguards at Orewa had a busy day attending a major and 10 minor first aids caused by cuts from shells on the beach some quite deep and requiring stitches. Two men were also assisted to shore after being blown out to sea on a raft.

A shark was also spotted at around 11am at Orewa Beach, with lifeguards closing the beach after confirming the sighting of a two-metre shark. Orewa reopened their flags at 3pm.

At Mangawhai Heads, lifeguards rescued a female who was swept out and assisted with two major first aids.

Lifeguards were alerted to a person in distress clinging to a buoy in Browns Bay. The North Shore rescue jet ski was tasked but the incident was resolved before they arrived on scene. In the evening Police Maritime advised that a two to three metre shark was spotted in Browns Bay. Nearby patrols were alerts and Safeswim was updated with an exercise caution alert.

In the morning lifeguards at  Whangarei Heads were alerted to a patient experiencing chest pain at a nearby bach. They responded with a defibrillator and provided support to the St John crew before returning to set up their flags.

Around 12pm, Pakiri lifeguards briefly had to close their flags due to the presence of Orca Whales in the waves. They reopened at 12.30pm.

Lifeguards received a report of a missing person. A search was launched and the missing person was located.

Overall, one person was rescued, six people assisted, four people were assisted with major first aid, 17 people were assisted with minor first aid, three searches were conducted, 1607 preventative actions taken, the headcount peaked at 8420 and lifeguards racked up 686 hours.

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