Teachers said Tre-Vaughn Dysart had paid attention to water
safety lessons and knew what to do. Photo / Sarah Ivey
When 5-year-old Tre-Vaughn Dysart saw his classmate slip
underwater, his instincts kicked in.
He rushed forward, lifted the boy above the water and took
him to the side of the pool, where a teacher helped them both
Yesterday, police praised the young hero for his
quick-thinking actions which they say potentially saved the
other boy from drowning.
The incident unfolded in the pool at Hamilton West School in
December. Teachers were poolside during the fun swimming
lesson when the inexperienced youngster got into difficulty
treading water in the middle of the pool.
Teachers Tammy Williams and Debbie Leet said the younger boy
had just started school and had no water-safety experience.
"Tre-Vaughn was amazing. He just grabbed him," Mrs Leet said.
Ms Williams: "That's quite amazing for that age because most
children don't take any notice of their surrounds."
Before a teacher could dive in, Tre-Vaughn quickly lifted the
boy's head above water and pulled him close to keep him
"He just hugged him and brought him back to the side," Mrs
Leet said. "The little boy hugged back."
Tre-Vaughn helped the boy to the side of the pool, where a
teacher was waiting.
"The lovely thing is we teach water safety but often at that
age they don't take it in," Ms Williams said. "So it's good
to see that teaching works and he had paid attention and knew
what to do."
Mother Jojo Ahu said she was "immensely proud" of her son,
who loved water and had spent time at the beach.
Ms Ahu said the shy Year 2 pupil seemed oblivious to the
significance of his actions. However, police were so
impressed that yesterday, they awarded the now 6-year-old a
certificate marking the event.
Hamilton police area prevention manager Inspector Marcus
Lynam praised Tre-Vaughn as "one brave little boy".
"If you weren't there, who knows what would have happened,"
he told Tre-Vaughn. "You should be very proud of what you've
Mr Lynam said Tre-Vaughn's bravery was more than just being
fearless in the face of danger.
"It's about doing what's right. And there's no doubt that
what you did back in December, Tre- Vaughn, fits that
description of being brave and courageous."
The keen basketballer was presented with the certificate on
behalf of Hamilton Bluelight - a youth organisation run under
the auspices of police - by three members of the Waikato
He was also given a remote-controlled skateboard toy and a
miniature police car.
- Natalie Akoorie, New Zealand Herald