Raglan SLSC Takes 1st for Dec '21 bp Rescue of the Month

Thursday, 10 March 2022

A busy Boxing Day sees lifeguards carry out multiple rescues. 

On a hot Boxing Day at Ngarunui Beach Patrol Captain David Galuszka made the call to extend patrol hours with 1000 people still on the beach and in the water. This turned out to be a crucial decision as later that afternoon lifeguards were alerted to a group of people being swept out from the harbour mouth on the outgoing tide. 

Following a call to the clubhouse, from a member of the public who spotted the group in trouble, the lifeguards quickly launched an IRB headed towards the harbour mouth which is a tricky blackspot for radio communications. When they got there, they found two members of the group clinging to the board of a kitesurfer, who had happened upon the group. They were being pounded by the swell in a choppy part of the harbour mouth, which was making it hard for them to hold on. 

One woman was drifting in and out of consciousness, “She was not in a good condition at all ... I’d describe it as an extremely critical condition,” Galuszka explains. “It would have been a very different story had it been just another few minutes. They were super lucky that kite surfer happened to be there.” The second person was shaken but in stable condition. 

Both people were taken to Wainamu Beach in the IRB, with Caleb tending to the now unconscious woman, ensuring her airway remained open. Back at the beach, oxygen was quickly administered and the woman was taken to hospital by St John’s Ambulance Crew, who had been called in earlier by lifeguards on the beach, where she made a full recovery. 

A second IRB was launched to check on the other swimmers in the group. They had managed to make their own way safely back to shore but the action for the day wasn’t over. A wind-foiler was now stuck on the bar as the wind had dropped. Josh and Sienna performed a rescue to bring them back safely. A busy Boxing Day at the beach ended with two rescues, involving three people, in the same area.  

bp Head of Country NZ Matt Elliott says, “bp is immensely proud to have partnered with Surf Life Saving New Zealand since 1968. The skills and bravery of Surf Lifeguards continue to impress our bp team and this rescue is another example of these amazing efforts.”