News from NZ Police
Pukekohe police say that the actions of a local man almost certainly saved at least one of three young men from drowning this evening at Kariotahi Beach near Waiuku.
The three, one aged 16 and two 17 years, all from Pukekohe, had entered the water at about 7.30p.m. and were still swimming at dusk when they were caught in a rip and swept out to sea as darkness fell.
One of the youths managed to swim back to shore where spoke to Pukekohe resident Brendon Pooley who was at the beach with his wife and four children.
Mr Pooley immediately entered the water with his body board and his wife drove to the top of the coastal hills to get phone reception to raise the alarm with police.
After fifteen minutes calling in the dark, Mr Pooley located one of the youths who was still swimming and able to make his own way towards shore. Leaving this youth he continued further out beyond the surf line and eventually located the exhausted third just as he was starting to go under.
Police arrived at the beach at 9.30p.m. as the second youth managed to get to shore.
At 9.37p.m., nearly fifty minutes after entering the water, Pooley managed to return to the beach with the last youth, much to the relief of his own family.
The swimmers were checked by surf lifesavers and did not require hospitalisation.
Constable Andy Shaw praised Mr Pooley’s actions saying they were particularly courageous given the conditions and the fact that he had entered the water in darkness.