Pauanui & Tairua Surf Lifeguards Awarded 1st Place for Jan '22 bp Rescue of the Month

Wednesday, 20 April 2022

Lifeguards come to the aid of a family involved in a tragic Tairua Bar boat flip.  

On the 5th of January 2022 Lifeguards at the Pauanui SLSC Tower were alerted that a boat had overturned on the Tairua Bar. 

Lifeguards quickly responded, launching two IRBs to aid the upturned vessel. Meanwhile guards back on the beach dropped the flags and advised the members of the public to exit the water. 

Two children trapped by the boat were retrieved by the Lifeguards and their father. They received medical assistance from Lifeguards on the beach before ambulance paramedics took over. Tragically another family member remained trapped and could not be rescued in time, despite every effort made by Lifeguards and members of the public to right the boat and free them.  

Pauanui and Tairua Lifeguards worked with multiple agencies, including NZ Fire & Emergency, Coastguard, St John’s Ambulance and the NZ Police, throughout the rescue. 

Surf Life Saving New Zealand acknowledges the quick and professional response from all emergency services, the cohesion between both Tairua and Pauanui Lifeguards (Regional Patrol & Volunteer Surf Lifeguards and the Search & Rescue Squad), and the medical aid provided by the guards on the water and beach that gave the patients the very best chance of survival. 

Surf Life Saving New Zealand also offers sincere condolences to the family involved for their tragic loss. 

bp Head of Country NZ Matt Elliott says, “bp has been proud to stand behind Surf Life Saving New Zealand and its Surf Lifeguards for 54 years. The skills and dedication shown by Surf Lifeguards in this incident highlight the challenging work Lifeguards face on and off the water while patrolling our beaches.