Coastguard Maketu Saves Teens in Beach Emergency

Maketu, 18 January 2024 – Coastguard Maketu volunteers swiftly responded to a critical beach rescue operation today. At approximately 2:30 pm, volunteers were at a beachside cafe when they heard screams and observed four heads in the water, being carried out to sea by a strong outgoing current.

Without hesitation, Coastguard Maketu President Shane Beech rushed to the scene, alerting Unit volunteers to launch the Unit’s jet skis immediately.

Within minutes, Coastguard successfully launched the first jet ski, quickly followed by another. The group of four teenagers had become separated in the water. Coastguard rescuers retrieved two teenagers on the jet skis, while local surfers assisted the other two, keeping them afloat until Coastguard could return from shore to pick them up.

In total, six individuals, including two brave locals who went to assist, were safely brought ashore. Local Maketu first responders, along with Police and off-duty lifeguards, were present to provide support and assistance. Two of the rescued individuals ingested a significant amount of saltwater and were taken to hospital by St John.

Beech emphasised the importance of beachgoers familiarising themselves with local conditions, particularly the swift outgoing tide at Maketu Beach. He stated, “This is what we train hard for; it's what we do. We were able to respond almost instantly, and our crew performed exceptionally well. The teenagers were extremely lucky, and we’re just so happy that we were able to bring them back to shore safely. This incident serves as a reminder to visitors that understanding beach conditions is crucial for safety."


Kimberley Waters
Coastguard New Zealand Communications Manager
[email protected]


Thanks to our life-saving partners:
  • Auckland Council
  • Northland Regional Council
  • Waikato Regional Council
  • Hutchwilco
  • Marine Deals
  • Tower
  • Kordia
  • Hyundai
  • Line7
  • Century Batteries
  • Half Moon Bay
  • NZCT
  • Lotteries Grants Board
  • Lion Foundation
  • Pub Charity