Wellington Scoop

Two women rescued after being caught in rip and swept out to sea at Waipatiki

News from NZ Police
Two women swimmers were swept out to sea yesterday afternoon at Waipatiki Beach, a holiday settlement about 40 kilometres north of Napier.

A 21 year old woman was caught in a rip and swept approximately 200 to 250 metres off shore. Her cousin went to her rescue and was also swept out.

A 15 year old Hawke’s Bay boy visiting the beach for the day heard people yelling out that the two women were drowning. He swam out, locating one of them. He initially focussed on keeping her calm, conscious and above water. They were joined by a kayaker who gave one of the women his life jacket.

A 16 year old girl, who also went out to help, found herself in difficulty and was assisted back to shore by an unidentified person.

Another man arrived on a surf board and they put a life jacket on the other woman while she held onto the surf board.

The 15 year old brought her back towards the beach, and once close, other people assisted in returning her to shore.

The 21 year old woman briefly lost consciousness on shore where the 15 year old rescuer’s mother, an off duty nurse, rendered initial help. Several doctors on holiday at Waipatiki beach also assisted with medical treatment until St Johns ambulance staff arrived.

The 21 year old woman was flown to Hawke’s Bay Hospital by the Lowe Walker Rescue Helicopter suffering from hypothermia. She is reported to be in a stable condition.

The other rescued woman taken by St Johns Ambulance to Hawke’s Bay Hospital.

Hawke’s Bay Police understand that the 21 year old is from out of the region but was holidaying at the beach with family. Initial enquiries by Police indicate that the women were in the water for almost an hour.

Hawke’s Bay Police are full of praise for the people who assisted in bringing the women to shore.