Rescue equipment acquired for Doubtless Bay

Doubtless Bay.
Doubtless Bay.

Doubtless Bay is wasting no time in acquiring equipment that might well save lives, after a man died whilst attempting to rescue his children at Cable Bay on January 2.

Local resident Pat Millar said last week that a community group, Operation Flotation Doubtless Bay, had been formed with the aim of providing rescue equipment at some of the local beaches.

"It started with me putting a fishing float in the tree on the beach at Cable Bay," she said.

The temporary lifesaving flotation device at Cable Bay proved to be just that - it disappeared on Friday, and has been replaced with a rescue tube.
The temporary lifesaving flotation device at Cable Bay proved to be just that - it disappeared on Friday, and has been replaced with a rescue tube.

"All the news reports said if anyone is in trouble, first call for help, then, if you go to assist, make sure you have a flotation aid. Hence the float, left over from when my husband had a fishing boat."

Her brother and his partner had encouraged her, she said, adding that they had written 'For Emergency' on it in the hope that the float would not be removed, while they looked for something more suitable.

"One of my friends said they would contribute to a proper rescue aid," Mrs Millar said.

"When I found out it cost over $200 I texted seven other friends and asked them if they wanted to contribute, and suddenly I had more than enough. When one of my friends, Lynley, from Hair N Mangonui, gave me her donation it was accompanied by a whole lot of cash that her customers had asked her to give to me.

She said if I could make up a donation box and a sign she was pretty sure her customers would donate more.

"At that point we realised we could aim higher, and now I have over $800, a couple of rescue tubes and the feeling that I have a tiger by the tail."

The fishing float had disappeared on Friday, and had been replaced with "one of our precious rescue tubes."

Meanwhile a community meeting last week agreed that the aim would be to acquire 'standard" sets of rescue equipment, each comprising two rescue tubes and two pairs of fins, which would be placed in containers or boxes.

Two sets would be acquired for Taipa, one for 'Little' Cable Bay (where last month's drowning occurred), two for Cable Bay and three for Cooper's Beach.

Locals and "knowledgeable" people would be consulted before deciding on precise locations, schools would be invited to get involved and the community would be asked to take care of the equipment.

Doubtless Bay Promotions had offered a site at this year's Last of the Summer Wine Festival at Mangonui, and assistance with fundraising applications had also been offered.
A donation box will be placed at Hair N Mangonui, and other donation box sites were suggested.

- Northland Age

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