2020 SLSNZ Awards of Excellence Winners Booklet


The Surf Life Saving National Awards of Excellence programme recognises the contribution of our amazing members from the grass roots of Surf Life Saving during the 2019/2020 season. Congratulations to all of our winners and award recipients.

Three lives saved. It doesn’t get much better for Kariaotahi’s Surf Life Saving

Club’s Emergency Call Out Squad of Shannon Benterman, Bradley Walters, Nick

Hornblow, Shannon Swann, Maddison Hare, Leanni Browne, Josh Watkins,

James Burton, Chris Parker, Mike Lawrence, Guy Hornblow and Tara Coe.

At 5.50pm on May 25, 2019, the squad was sent to the Waikato River Mouth

with an IRB and Night Operations Kit to combine with the Sunset Beach

Lifeguard Service, Westpac Rescue Helicopter and Police Eagle Helicopter to

search for a missing boat with three on board.

An hour later Eagle spotted the boat, it’s crew all wearing life jackets but about

half a mile out to sea. Westpac tried to winch them on board but the conditions

were too rough so Kariaotahi headed out, Westpac’s spotlight guiding them.

It was 7.16pm when Hornblow and crewman Walters left shore and within a few

minutes they had reached the stricken boat, pulled the crew into the IRB and

returned to shore. Two of them, a woman and seven year old boy, had little sign

of life and needed urgent care with CPR administered to the woman before she

and the boy were flown by the Westpac chopper to hospital while lifeguards

transported the man to the Surf Club where he was met by an ambulance.

Walters, the head of Surf Life Saving at Kariaotahi, said the rescue was the result

of years of training, sound processes and risk assessments in place by the

agencies involved. Without that and the fast, efficient patient pick up by the IRB

crew under difficult conditions it was almost certain that those three lives would

have been lost that night. “It was a fantastic, well coordinated, multi-agency

response which had a positive outcome for all involved,” Walters said.


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