Coastguard

Coast Guard paddler saves girl – Times


Tracey Laxon was off duty when she rescued a girl swept out to sea.

A member of the Maraetai Coast Guard rescued a girl who was taken to sea.

On Friday October 8, Maraetai resident Tracey Laxon was on her paddleboard on the shore of Maraetai Beach when she heard ladies screaming from the dock.

“They were waving their arms,” she said.

A nine-year-old girl was taken to sea on her paddleboard. She was already 200m offshore.

Immediately, Laxon rowed ashore to tell her Coast Guard captain, Mike Sommerville, that she was going to pick up the girl and call for reinforcements.

He called 111 and updated police operations on the situation.

Three police cars, an ambulance and a Westpac helicopter arrived at the scene.

When Laxon got to the girl, she was upset.

“It was starting to sink,” Laxon said. “She was like ‘I’m going to die, I’m going to die.'”

Laxon managed to tow the girl onto the beach by joining their ankle straps together. By the time she joined her, she had drifted about 400m.

The helicopter hovered around them to monitor the situation.

“The wind was really strong, so I couldn’t get back to the wharf,” she said. “So I crossed the side wind. “

Since the rescue, the young girl has been terrified of the water, Laxon said.

“She was really traumatized but everything is fine. Ambulance personnel checked her.

Laxon has been training with coast guard Maraetai for two years. Her advice for people on paddleboards is to wear a life jacket, stay calm, and stick with the board.