Lifeguards recognised for rescue at Pauanui beach

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Five off-duty lifeguards played an important part in saving a life, after two teenagers were seriously injured. The guards have now been recognised by Surf Life Saving New Zealand with a national award for their skills and bravery.

The Pauanui Surf Life Saving Club lifeguards were off-duty on the afternoon of March 10 when they were called to a report of an incident near the club.

The guards took first aid packs with them onto the beach, where they found three teenagers at the water’s edge - one uninjured, but two with serious injuries after being hit by the propeller of a boat.

They helped them away from the water, immediately beginning first aid and relaying information back to other emergency services who were on the way.

After two ambulances arrived the lifeguards continued to assist with first aid, under the ambulance officers’ directions, and to help with crowd control.

A lifeguard also helped secure the sea biscuit the teens had been using, to help with later investigations.

Pauanui Surf Life Saving president Spencer Raymond says sadly one of the teenagers died as a result of the injuries. But, it is likely the lifeguards contribution helped save the life of the second teen who was injured.

“Our club has been saddened at the loss of a young man who was enjoying the beach, and we have been in touch with his family since,” he says.

“We are also very proud of the actions of our lifeguards in a difficult situation. They showed good leadership, their medical skills and presence of mind were top rate, and they made a massive difference.”

Surf Life Saving NZ presents monthly BP Rescue of the Month awards, sponsored by BP New Zealand.

The five Pauanui lifeguards who helped at the incident were awarded second place for March. Orewa Surf Life Saving Club lifeguards who helped a mother and son and their two dogs out of a desperate situation in a rip at Orewa beach were awarded first place. And lifeguards who pulled three swimmers out of a rip at Bethells Beach, were awarded third place.

BP NZ Managing Director Debi Boffa says the skills demonstrated by the Pauanui lifeguards were outstanding.

“BP is incredibly proud to have partnered with Surf Life Saving New Zealand since 1968. We are continually impressed by the incredible skills and bravery of Surf Life Guards all over the country, and this rescue is another great example of the heroism they show in keeping us safe at the beach.”


File photos for Surf Life Saving NZ can be found here.

For more information, please contact:
Spencer Raymond, Pauanui Surf Life Saving Club president
Phone: 021 887 564; Email:

Surf Life Saving NZ media
Phone: 021 636 647; Email: