Trio buzzing after first rescue

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Liam Good, left, George Wyllie and Marley Igasan carried out their first rescue at Oceans 20. Photo: SunLive

Oceans 20 was about more than competing for Liam Good, George Wyllie and Marley Igasan. It’s where they carried out their first rescue.

The trio of 12-year-olds from Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service ended up rescuing three children who got caught in a rip, and Liam has been commended for his sportsmanship during a race.

Oceans 20 was held at Mount Maunganui’s Main Beach from February 27 to March 1.

On the first day of the event Liam, George and Marley were warming down after their board race when a surfer came up to them and alerted them to a girl and two boys he thought were in trouble in the water.

“They were stuck in a rip and heading towards the rocks,” Liam says. “We paddled over on our boards and they said they were ok, but we could tell they were in trouble.

“I got the girl on my board and told her to breathe deeply and stay calm.

“They were pretty solid waves.”

While George and Marley got the two boys in, Liam helped the girl.

“Me and this little girl slowly but surely paddled back to shore.”

It was Liam’s first rescue and needless to say he was “kind of proud”.

“I felt very nervous. I was thinking ‘If I don’t do this right I could possibly injure someone’.

“But it ended up working out great,” Liam says.

The boys’ coach John (Spindles) Bryant says he didn’t see them rescue the children and initially thought they were talking about their race when they approached him after the rescue.

“They came over to me and said ‘we’ve just done a board rescue’, and I said ‘I know, I was watching’. And they said ‘no, a real life board rescue’.

“They were amped. They were just buzzing.”

For Liam and George it is their first year in Surf Life Saving and Liam says he’s finding it really fun.

The youngster is “very competitive” and also takes part in swimming, running and water polo.

Liam’s mum Lavina says her son has been swimming competitively for years.

“It’s always been about PBs [personal best times]. But after his first year in Surf Life Saving he’s actually learnt how to save a life. And to me as a parent, that’s much better than PB after PB.”

Later on in the day Liam’s sportsmanship caught the attention of spectators after he accidentally tripped up a fellow competitor.

“We were equal as we were sprinting down the beach. He cut me off on the corner, which was very smart of him. But I accidentally tripped him up.

“I helped him up and let him win. After all, he would have beaten me if I hadn’t tripped him up.”

Spindles says Liam’s concern was that he had tripped someone up and he shouldn’t have.

“We had some great performances on the beach but that was the absolute highlight for me,” Spindles told the SunLive newspaper.

“The other athlete’s Mum approaches me afterwards to say how impressed she was and it was a really proud moment.”


For more information please contact: 

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