A Year 13 pupil kept in Dunedin Hospital overnight for
observation after a swimming excursion mishap near Purakaunui
on Friday is expected to be back at Columba College today.
Board of governors chairman Tony Sycamore said the pupil was
discharged on Saturday and was doing well. He understood she
would be back at school today.
''Getting her released [on Saturday] was something we were
all really delighted about,'' he said.
She was one of seven pupils taken to hospital after the
swimming trip went badly wrong, and the only one kept in
About 18 pupils were rescued from a rip off Canoe Beach by
three surfers, and surf live-savers who were practising at
nearby Warrington for the South Island IRB (rescue boat)
Mr Sycamore said the school's immediate focus was ensuring
those involved were supported.
''The major thing over the weekend for us has been in getting
as much care and support around the people involved as
An investigation of the incident would be thorough. It would
be ''irresponsible'' to predetermine the outcome, he said.
Told Surf Life Saving New Zealand planned to contact the
school, Mr Sycamore said he welcomed that, as well as
liaising with other concerned parties.
''If that offer is there, fantastic. We'd be really grateful
for any input at all.''
The ''unspoken heroes'' of the day were the teachers while
the pupils' response to the event was also commendable.
''The way they have dealt with something that was completely
out of the blue is just so impressive,'' he said.
In an email to parents on Saturday, Columba principal
Elizabeth Wilson said the school was proud of the fact pupils
pulled together, and the way staff managed the situation.
She asked pupils to respect other students' privacy when
discussing what had happened.
''It's natural for students to discuss what happened on
social media but we would like to remind students that social
media is often public and that this is a difficult time for
those involved and they should be mindful of respecting the
privacy of other students and staff.''
Surf Life Saving New Zealand Otago club development officer
Steph Laughton said, when contacted, she was keen for the
organisation to visit Columba College to see how they could
Most Dunedin schools liaised with the organisation before
taking pupils swimming in the sea, but that had not happened
in this instance.