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Sunset Beach Lifeguard Service have busy day on opening day – 6 rescued on the Port Waikato Bar


The TFS/ Grassroots Hilux presented to the Lifesaving Clubs throughout the Northern Region were on the beaches on Saturday of labour weekend. The first incident for the season involving the Hilux was at Sunset Beach on Saturday.

At Saturday 20th October at 11:00am Surfcom tasked Sunset beach to a reported incident on the Waikato River Bar a 2.5 km distance from the patrolled area of the beach. A boat with six people on board had capsized on the bar and it was reported the people were clinging to the capsized boat with others in the water. As it was at low tide the Hilux was utilised to tow the IRB boat up to the incident scene. Oxygen and medical equipment was carried on the tray of the vehicle. Within minutes the team were on site and launched the rescue boat.

Fortunately for all on board a fisherman in the same area of the river was first on the scene and was able to offers support until the Sunset team arrived and together they transported the recused people up the river to the wharf. They were then transported by the Hilux, which by then had relocated, to the Surf Club and treated for hypothermia, all were given access to hot showers. Counselling to the younger people on board the boat was also given.

For the vehicle to be used on the first patrolling day of the summer and to used so effectively as a vital tool in the overall rescue process was outstanding. The Sunset Club is indeed grateful to the Grassroots Foundation, Toyota Financial Services and the Lifesavers Foundation for their generosity and fore sight in the provision of the fleet of beach rescue vehicles. In this rescue on Saturday they proved their worth. Six grateful people will testify to that.


Malcolm Beattie – OBE
President | Sunset Beach Lifeguard Service

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