Surf Life Saving New Zealand acknowledges death at Cape Saunders, Otago

Sunday, 29 December 2019

At 4.11pm on December 21, Surf Life Saving NZ’s Otago Search and Rescue Squad were called to two people in the water at Cape Saunders, Otago.

The pair had been rock fishing when one person was washed off the rocks. A second person jumped in after him with a life ring that’s kept at the location following similar occurrences.

The incident occurred at a non-lifeguarded beach. Volunteers from St Kilda Surf Life Saving Club and St Clair Surf Life Saving Club attended, along with emergency services, including Coastguard, the NZ Police and the Otago Regional Rescue Helicopter.

The helicopter crew retrieved one deceased person from the water, and another person who was flown to hospital in a serious condition.

Our thoughts are with the pair’s family and friends at this time.

Surf Life Saving New Zealand’s Coastal Safety team is now working with emergency services to conduct an investigation to find out what happened and why.

We acknowledge the volunteers and emergency services who were called to the scene.


For more information, please contact:

Melanie Louden
Surf Life Saving NZ Media and Communications Manager
021 757 433