Friday, 2 March 2007 - 2:23pm |
National News

Eager Eagle Eyes Save Surfer

1 min read

A 55 year old West Auckland man who went swimming at an isolated West Coast beach has been rescued by Police after being caught in treacherous seas and surf.

Police say an off duty officer assisted by crew aboard the Police Eagle helicopter effected the rescue at about 3.30pm yesterday Thursday 1 March 2007. The incident happened 200 metres off Kare Kare Beach. The beach is a popular swimming venue.

EAGLE was on a routine sweep of the northern West Coast beaches when one of the crew spotted two male swimmers in the ocean. There were heavy swells at the time and it was obvious both men were in trouble. One was waving his hand purposefully in the air in an effort to attract the attention of the eager eyed flight crew on EAGLE.

EAGLE then landed on the beach and the crew immediately enabled the life tube. The chopper went to the off shore position where the two swimmers were located. While EAGLE was hovering the crew recognised that a popular police colleague was one of the two men in the treacherous 2.5 metre sea swells five metres below them.

Police say both swimmers were especially pleased to see the EAGLE and its crew. They were battling a treacherous tidal rip and the police helicopter's arrival to assist in the rescue was timely. The rescued swimmer was soon assisted safely to shore. The EAGLE rescue which lasted almost 15 minutes was successfully affected without injury.

EAGLE regularly carries out routine patrols to isolated coastal locations in the wider Auckland Metropolitan region. As well as assisting in serious crime incidents EAGLE searches for abandoned or stolen cars, cannabis plantations. EAGLE has an essential role whenever boats, swimmers or fisherman go missing or require rapid rescue at sea.