Man pays tribute to Coastguard Waiheke following midnight emergency

A boatie who suffered a medical emergency onboard a vessel north of Waiheke Island this week has paid tribute to Coastguard Waiheke volunteers alongside St John Ambulance and Westpac Rescue Helicopter.

Just after 11.20pm on Tuesday night Coastguard were alerted to a man with chest pains, with four Waiheke volunteers quickly tasked to head out. As the man's condition was deteriorating, the decision was made to bring him back to Matiatia wharf for ambulance transfer and onto the Westpac Rescue Helicopter back to Auckland. Waiheke Rescue arrived on the scene just after midnight, assessing the man's condition and stabilising him for the short trip back to the island for transfer.

Later on Wednesday morning, the man messaged Coastguard Waiheke thanking them for their quick response.

"Thank you for having to get out of bed this morning to save my life! You made a difference. My heart stent collapsed from 15 months ago every min counted. Had the operation at 2am and am sitting here lucky to be alive all fixed."

Coastguard Waiheke skipper David Black explained that while night missions of this nature are rare, volunteers are already ready to go and prepared for all eventualities.

"As we weren't sure of the man's condition, we had a defibrillator on standby. Fortunately, with reasonable conditions and skillful helming we were able to get alongside easily and transfer the man aboard - keeping a close eye on his pulse while we returned to the wharf as quickly as possible.

"It's great to get feedback like this - it's always a morale booster for the crew and spurs them on to get back out on the water. We wish the man all the best with his recovery and hope he can get back on the water as soon as possible," he said.

Awesome effort by all parties, working together to ensure the best possible outcome!

For more information, contact: 
Ben Parsons 
Coastguard New Zealand Senior Communications Advisor 
[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