Father/Daughter Team Deliver 3rd Place to Wainui Surf Life Saving Club for bp Rescue of the Month

Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Press release

March 17, 2021

[Image: Wainui Beach in Tairāwhiti Gisborne was the scene of a father/daughter rescue in February]

Off-duty Surf Lifeguard, Kelly Ryan, had just come in from a surf shortly at Northern Makarori Beach on February 20th, when he spotted two teens being sucked out in a rip.

The Wainui Surf Life Saving Club member grabbed his stand-up paddle board (SUP) and leapt into the surf. As he headed out, Kelly was shocked to discover that one of the swimmers was his daughter, Jay. By the time Kelly reached the second swimmer, Jay had already made her way back to shore and was grabbing her SUP so that she could help with the rescue.

The second swimmer – a teenage boy – was in a state of exhaustion when Kelly reached him and didn’t have much energy left. Kelly felt that, had he not arrived at that moment, the boy would have likely submerged.

As Kelly and the patient were making their way back to shore, aided by Kelly’s SUP, a wave knocked the pair back into the water. Thankfully, Jay was ready with her board and was able to assist. Kelly and Jay helped the patient back to the beach, where they checked him over and observed him for a period of time. Once they felt it was safe to do so, the father/daughter team released the swimmer into the care of his friends.

bp Head of Country NZ, 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, Wainui Surf Life Saving Club will be recognised with $200-worth of bp gift vouchers.



  • IF YOU GET CAUGHT IN A RIP, REMEMBER THE 3RS RIP SURVIVAL PLAN: RELAX and float, RAISE your hand to signal for help & RIDE the rip until it ends and you can swim to shore or help arrives.

  • If you see someone in trouble at the beach, let lifeguards know. If you can’t see any lifeguards, CALL 111 & ASK FOR THE POLICE. They have a direct line to both Surf Life Saving New Zealand and Coastguard.



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