Injured surfer rescued after writing “HELP” in the sand before collapsing

by Jenny Mount · Feb 17th, 2021 4:14 pm

Last Updated Feb 18th, 2021 at 9:43 am

A badly injured surfer was rescued after he collapsed on a remote New Zealand beach, but not before writing the word "HELP" in the sand.

The man, who was surfing by himself, was swept into rocks by crashing waves at Karekare Beach near Auckland. After losing his surfboard, he scrambled to shore with serious injuries.

The surfer became lost, and after spending two hours trying to escape the beach, he wrote the message "HELP" in the sand before collapsing. A woman walking nearby saw the surfer and called a local surf club. Two lifeguards then raced to the scene, gave him emergency first aid, and then took him to an ambulance that rushed him to a hospital.

John-Michael Swannix, Search and Rescue supervisor, said the man was lucky to be rescued.

"With Auckland in alert level 3 [Covid lockdown], not as many people are out and about at the moment so it's also lucky someone was walking the track at that time," said Swannix.


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