Amazing lifeguards give second chance to Jim

Friday, 30 November 2012
Jandal Day

Surf saved Jim Te Whata's life and now in return, this Jandal Day he wants to help the organization that gave him a second chance at life.

Surf Life Saving's National Appeal is on from December 2-8 which includes National Jandal Day on Friday December 7. The husband and grandfather of seven knows first-hand the critical importance of Surf Lifeguards and now he is urging people to support Surf Life Saving so they can continue to help people like him. "I was so lucky to have been rescued by those amazing Lifeguards. I really do owe my life to them and I feel grateful every day that I'm still alive." 

Jim's wife Denise says she's forever thankful to the three Lifeguards from Kariaotahi.who saved her husband. "I'm so grateful that the Lifeguards were there on hand otherwise my husband wouldn't be here today," she says. 

Two years ago the Christchurch resident had no visible signs of life, no pulse, and he was not breathing. Taylor Abernathey-Newman, Phil Jenkins and Fiona Whyte were instructing a Beach Education class at Kariaotahi Beach when their attention was drawn to a boat that had flipped and thrown three people overboard while trying to make its way through the surf. 

Taylor and Phil immediately dispatched the Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) to assist the people to shore. Upon reaching the boat and spotting two lifejackets floating in the surf they feared the worst. Taylor dived from the IRB to check underneath the boat while Phil headed towards shore looking for survivors. 

Arriving at the beach Phil rushed to the three men who had made it to shore, where Jim was in a serious condition. The Lifeguards immediately began CPR and oxygen therapy in an effort to revive him. 

After performing CPR for an extended period of time Taylor and Phil were successful in getting Jim to breathe on his own, albeit weakly. The Lifeguards put him into the recovery position and continued to administer oxygen. Jim slowly began to regain consciousness and once stabilized, he was taken to Middlemore Hospital. 

After four days in Middlemore Hospital Jim made a full recovery and is extremely thankful that Taylor, Phil, and Fiona were there to make a lifesaving difference. 

Jandal Day is proudly supported by Surf Life Saving New Zealand's principal partner State Insurance, who has assisted with the creation of a new Jandal Day website. It includes a range of exciting features and you can donate via your smartphone or simply text 'surf' to 4483 to automatically give $3. 

Surf Life Saving New Zealand CEO Paul Dalton says "as the charity keeping communities safe in the water, we rely on the big-hearted support of the public, so please donate generously so we can continue to keep our Lifeguards on patrol this summer."

Wear your jandals on December 7 and pledge your support by:

  • Donating online at
  • Text the word SURF to 4483 to make an instant $3 donation.
  • Post your donation to: Surf Life Saving, PO Box 9205, Wellington 6141, Freepost 100280.
  • Making a donation at your local State Insurance branch.
  • Drop some cash into KFC's in-store and drive through donation buckets.
  • Purchase jandals from any Quiksilver store.
  • There are a large range of businesses and stores supporting Appeal Week, so whether you are near a club or not you can still give generously.
  • When you visit a BP service station you can round up your purchase which will go to supporting Surf Life Saving.

Attend Coca Cola Christmas in the Park in Auckland on Saturday 8th December and give generously to our friendly Lifeguards or buy some great Christmas glow sticks, Santa hats and more.