A 19 year-old girl who was the subject of an extensive rescue effort by multiple people at Piha yesterday afternoon remains in a serious condition in Auckland Hospital.
At 2.20pm Police received several calls that two people had been swept out to sea on the north side of Lion Rock.
Two young ladies, aged 17 and 19 years old had gone for a swim. Conditions at the time were poor with a king low-tide and large rolling waves. A strong rip swept the girls 100-200 metres off shore. Their screams alerted several members of the public.
Two members of the public, (including an American tourist due to fly home today) entered the water and dragged the 19 year-old girl to shore. The 17 year-old made it back to shore and was treated for shock, but was otherwise fine. The 19 year-old girl though was unconcious.
The Police Eagle Helicopter arrived on the scene and landed on the beach. Officers from the Eagle performed CPR on the girl for around 10-15 minutes. The Westpac Rescue Chopper then arrived and staff took over. After a considerable amount of time the young lady regained a pulse and was flown to Auckland Hospital in a serious condition.
Off-duty lifeguards from the Piha Surf Lifesaving Club, St John Ambulance and other members of the local Piha community also assisted at the scene.
“Sadly the young lady remains in a serious condition in Auckland Hospital and our thoughts are with her and her family.
I’d like to thank everyone who was involved in yesterday’s rescue, their actions have resulted in her revival at the scene and we now dearly hope she pulls through and makes a full recovery” says Superintendent Bill Searle, District Commander, Waitemata Police.
“I’d also like to commend the actions of our Police Eagle Helicopter staff, who recognised that immediate first aid was a priority. Their job is not only to look after the public from the skies, they’re first responders as well and to land a helicopter and run into a situation like that is testament to their skills and professionalism” he says.
“We know that one of the rescuers was a tourist here who is on his way home today, but at this stage, we don’t have the details of the other person who entered the water and dragged the young lady to safety, please get in touch because we’d like to thank you” he says.
Beth Bates/Waitemata Police