A man spent almost an hour in the ocean last night trying to
rescue three teenagers swept out by a rip after nightfall on
a beach near Waiuku.
The three Pukekohe boys, one aged 16 and two aged 17, had
started swimming at Kariotahi Beach about 7.30pm and were
still swimming at dusk when they were caught in a rip.
One of the boys managed to swim back to shore where he
alerted fellow Pukekohe resident Brendon Pooley, who was at
the beach with his wife and four children.
Mr Pooley rushed into the water with his body board as his
wife drove to the top of a hill to get phone reception to
call emergency services.
After 15 minutes calling in the dark, Mr Pooley located one
of the teens who was still swimming and able to make his way
towards the shore.
Mr Pooley continued further out beyond the surf line and
eventually located the third boy, who was exhausted and
"starting to go under", police said.
At 9.37pm, nearly 50 minutes after entering the water, Mr
Pooley returned to the beach with the last teenager.
The swimmers were assessed by surf lifesavers and did not
Constable Andy Shaw praised Mr Pooley's actions, saying he
was "particularly courageous given the conditions and the
fact he had entered the water in darkness".