Honorary Fishery Officers rescue drowning boy
26 October 2011
The Ministry of Fisheries reported today that during the long weekend two Honorary Fishery Officers (HFOs) helped a nine-year-old Auckland boy who was drowning.
HFOs Dean Kaire and Phil Boughey arrived at Devon Road, Bucklands Beach, for afternoon inspection duty. Dean takes up the story:
“Having done our inspection we were packing up to return to home base when one of the fishers asked for a rules sticker. As Phil was retrieving this from the back of my 4x4 he noticed a young boy about 25 metres offshore calling for help.
“We went to investigate straight away. At first we thought he was mucking about but quickly realised he was in serious trouble. We dumped our vests and dived into the water - overalls and all. Phil waded out til he was waist deep and I carried on to reach the boy who was in deeper water. It was over my head so it was extremely difficult to stay afloat with overalls and boots on.
“With Phil’s assistance I pulled the boy ashore where we were greeted by the boy’s mother. Phil called an ambulance as the boy had swallowed water and appeared to be in mild shock. We monitored him and another fisher provided a warm blanket, the ambulance arrived and the boy is now in observation at Middlemore Children’s Hospital.
“I’ve since been to see the ambulance officers at Howick station. They say he’s very lucky to be alive but should recover soon with only a sore throat.
“The mother now has a newfound respect for Fishery Officers.”
Greg Keys, the Ministry’s Acting Regional Manager North, says he is very proud of Dean’s and Phil’s quick thinking which probably saved a life. “Our Honorary Fishery Officers do a fantastic job,” he said. “In this case they’ve gone well beyond the call of duty and we should all be very grateful to them.”