Schoolgirl Saves 4-Year-Old from Drowning in West Coast Creek

Tuesday, 15 September 2020


An 11-year-old West Coast surf lifesaver has been hailed as a “true hero” after rescuing a 4-year-old from drowning in a Haast creek.

Yazmin Haddock was able to put the skills she had learned as a member of the West Coast’s Kotuku Junior Surf Life Saving club into action when she rescued a young friend on Saturday.

Yazmin’s grandfather, Peter Haddock, a Grey District councillor, said the family were very proud of her bravery.

Yazmin was an active member of the lifesaving club while living in Greymouth, but had recently moved to Haast.

The 11-year-old said she was down by a creek making a trap with friends on Saturday.

“Our 4-year-old friend bent over to pull out a stick and fell in. She started floating down stream, she couldn't touch the bottom and was getting mouthfuls of water and screaming,” she said.

“I ran down the hill, took my gumboots off and jumped in, I yelled to my brother to go get help. When I got to her, I told her to calm down, got behind her, got my arms underneath her armpits and dragged her to the shore.”

Yazmin was able to calm the child and then walk out of the bush to her mother.

“I managed to stay calm and know what to do because of my surf lifesaving training. I felt proud of myself for being able to save her."

A Kotuku Surf Life Saving Club spokesperson wrote on Facebook that Yazmin was a “true hero”.

“We are so proud of your quick thinking and courage.”

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