Double Rescue Wins Omaha Beach SLSC 3rd Place

Monday, 25 January 2021

Press release

January 25, 2021

[Image: Omaha SLSC Surf Lifeguards helped rescue a young boy and his mother in mid-December]


Double Rescue Wins Omaha Beach SLSC 3rd Place

It was a late afternoon in mid-December and families were enjoying the early summer sun at Omaha Beach.

The bucolic scene nearly turned tragic, however, when a child alerted Surf Lifeguards that a second child has been caught out in the water and was struggling to return to shore.

In the time it took the Surf Lifeguards to arrive, the child’s mother – who had minimal swimming ability – had entered the water to try and rescue her son. Five Surf Lifeguards arrived at the scene; three entered the water with tubes and a board while the other two remained on shore to assist.

Both mother and son were brought back to shore and an assessment was made by the team, who discovered that the boy had taken in quite a bit of water. Both mother and son were beginning to show signs of shock. It was also established the mother and other adult family members present had been drinking, making it hard to both get the story straight and confirm how serious the mother’s condition was.

The ambulance was experiencing delays, so the local fire service call-out squad arrived to assist until the ambulance arrived. The boy was taken to Starship Hospital to be monitored overnight and the mother was discharged to family members.

It’s important to note, in this instance, that Patrol Captain Katherine Nicholls & Vice Patrol Captain Sophie Martin had only done a Senior Guard PC course the previous weekend and were managing a young and relatively inexperienced patrol.

The fact that alcohol was involved made management of the scene and family members difficult, especially for younger lifeguards. Three of the guards involved were newly-qualified in November.

bp NZ Managing Director, Matt Elliott says bp is “incredibly proud” to have partnered with Surf Life Saving New Zealand for more than 50 years.

“Since 1968, bp has been proud to stand behind Surf Life Saving New Zealand and its Surf Lifeguards, who consistently put their amazing skills into action to keep us all safer at our beaches.”

As the third-place recipient of bp Rescue of the Month, Omaha Beach SLSC will be recognised with $200-worth of bp gift vouchers.


Always keep a close eye on children in or near the water. Keep young children within arms’ reach at all times.


SLSNZ is the national association representing 74 surf lifesaving clubs with 18,000+ members, including more than 4,500 volunteer Surf Lifeguards. Our lifeguards patrol over 90 locations each summer and provide emergency call-out rescue services throughout Aotearoa, saving hundreds of lives each year and ensuring thousands return home safe after a day at the beach.

We do all this as a charity and rely on the generosity of the public, commercial partners, foundations and trusts for donations and financial contributions in order to lead and support our incredible front-line volunteer lifeguarding services.


For more information, please contact:


Mackenzie Koppel

Media and Communications Manager

Surf Life Saving NZ

021 757 433