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SLSNZ acknowledges surf lifeguards involved in Ruakaka fatal incident

Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ) would like to acknowledge the efforts of the Ruakākā Surf Lifesaving Patrol (SLSP), which responded to a fatal incident at Ruakākā Beach in Northland.

At around 11:30am on Thursday, 18 January, surf lifeguards from Ruakākā SLSP were alerted to a man in distress in the water, north of the red and yellow flags.

An Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) crew was out training and quickly responded. However, bystanders on boogie boards managed to pull the unconscious man from the water and start compressions. Surf lifeguards then arrived on the scene with a defibrillator and a trauma kit.

Surf lifeguards, along with Fire and Emergency New Zealand, and Hato Hone St John, carried out CPR; however, the man was unable to be resuscitated.

The surf lifeguards involved returned to their Surf Life Saving club and were provided with support services.

Zac Franich, Surf Life Saving Northern Region General Manager, said, “I want to thank the surf lifeguards involved in this incident, as their actions and efforts were exemplary. They were also integral to an incredible team effort, collaborating not only with bystanders and the other emergency services but also with their fellow club members. While the paid lifeguard service was responding to the incident, the Ruakākā SLSP Search and Rescue Squad seamlessly took over patrolling between the red and yellow flags, ensuring beachgoers remained safe.

“Our thoughts are also with the man’s friends and whānau during this difficult time. Every death along New Zealand’s coastline weighs heavily on the Surf Life Saving community and has a profound impact on those involved.”


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