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Brave rescue at Muriwai recognised

8 Dec 2010

Brave rescue at Muriwai recognised

The bravery of 3 members of the public will be recognised when Mayor Meng Foon presents them with Royal Humane Society of New Zealand awards next Thursday.

Late Sunday afternoon on December 6 last year a young boy lost his footing while setting a net near the estuary on Muriwai Beach. He was caught in a strong rip and swept out to sea. His father swam out to rescue him and although exhausted he ultimately returned his son to shore.

In the meantime the boy’s grandfather Moana Paratene went to the assistance of his son and grandson but also succumbed to the rip and swept past them further out to sea.

The Brown family who were also on the beach heard shouts for help. Parekura Leo Te Tauri Brown who was 16 at the time swam 100 metres out through the rip and one metre surf to reach the grandfather and give him support and encouragement. His father Parekura Laurence Brown ran to a nearby bach to get a surfboard which he used to paddle out to Mr Paratene and his son.

All 3 made a safe return to shore using the board to support them. Mr Paratene was exhausted and was helped from the water into a waiting ambulance. The swift action of the Brown family saved his life. He would have undoubtedly drowned without their help.

“They ask not to be heroes, but they are,’ says Mayor Meng Foon. “Thanks to all those involved. The brave deeds of brave men needs to be acknowledged and recognised and Council is proud to present these awards on behalf of the Royal Humane Society.

Parekura Leo Te Tauri Brown will receive a Bronze Medal while his father Parekura Laurence Brown will receive a Certificate of Merit. Moana Paratene will receive a Letter of Commendation for his initial intentions of going to save his son and grandson.

The ceremony is at 12 noon on Thursday 16 December in the Council Chambers, Fitzherbert Street.

The Royal Humane Society of New Zealand bestows awards for acts of bravery where the rescuers have put their own lives at risk to assist others whose lives were in peril. Since its inception in 1898, the Society has made 2057 such awards to New Zealanders, of all ages and from all regions of the country, whose actions have been brought to its attention.