New Brighton SLSC Takes 2nd for Dec '21 bp Rescue of the Month

Thursday, 10 March 2022

Young lifeguard patrol puts training into practice to save a life.

On the 5th of December, 2021 young lifeguards from New Brighton SLSC put their training into practice to save the life of a man who was face-down in the water.  

Two lifeguards were in the water due to choppy conditions making it difficult to monitor swimmers from the beach. They noticed a male in distress way outside of the flagged area. As they approached, he slipped under and became face-down in the water. They immediately turned him face-up and dragged him to shore as he coughed up seawater. Back on shore, the pair raised the alarm and placed him in the recovery position. 

The young patrol team then set into action to ensure medical assistance was provided; administering oxygen, carrying out primary and secondary assessment, quickly calling St John’s Ambulance and monitoring the patient.  One of the guards met the Ambulance crew while others kept the man warm and obtained his details. Meanwhile, the others guards maintained patrol of the flagged area to keep swimmers safe. 

What was exceptional about this well-performed rescue is the lifeguards involved were aged from 14 to 17 years old, apart from Zavian (21) who was in his first season as a dedicated Patrol Captain. The youngest member had only just passed his lifeguard award 3 weeks earlier. 

Despite their young age the group did everything expected of a patrol, from using observational skills to noticing signs of distress, quickly responding, working as a team, following basic first-aid procedures, handing over to the Ambulance crew and providing a great site report to base. All this was carried out in a cool and calm manner. One of the attending St John’s staff commented that the team had done an amazing job and had certainly saved the man’s life that day.  

bp Head of Country NZ Matt Elliott says, “bp has been in partnership with Surf Life Saving New Zealand for 54 years and is so proud to support the organisation’s efforts in keeping us all safer at our beaches. This rescue is a great illustration of the incredible difference Surf Lifeguards make on our beaches across the country.”