Chiangrai Times – A New Zealand lifesaver rescued a fellow kiwi at Kuta Beach, Phuket, after the local lifeguard gave up with tired arms. Holidaying with family in Thailand, Paekakariki Surf Club member Mitch Logan was togged up at a resort pool when he heard a commotion at the nearby beach.
Speaking to the Kapiti Observer on Tuesday, Mr Logan said five people were caught in a rip – four made it in but one was left behind.
“The lifeguard paddled out on a board, he got to the swimmer; at this stage I was standing by the pool watching, and I noticed the lifeguard hopped off the board.”
The lifeguard shared the board with the “patient” and the pair tried to sidestroke back to shore, Mr Logan said.
Instead they drifted further out to sea – then the lifeguard panicked, took his board from the man and left him in the water.
“That’s when I thought ‘I’m going to go out’.”
Mr Logan swam out through the surf and reached the lifeguard, then told him to hop off the board.
“That took a few minutes because he didn’t understand what I was saying.”
Eventually the lifeguard hopped off, allowing Mr Logan to push the patient on board, then climb on beside him. He tried to paddle the man to shore but the local lifeguard would not let go.
“I wasted another couple of minutes trying to get him to get off the side,” Mr Logan said.
Mr Logan took the man to shore then turned to rescue the would-be rescuer, but the man had swum in on his own.
The grateful lifeguard explained he had simply become too tired and lost power in his arms.
Meanwhile, once on shore, Mr Logan found out the man he had rescued was a fellow New Zealander – from Cambridge in Waikato.
Mr Logan said he carried on with the rest of the day as usual – although there was a kiwi tradition that still needed to be observed with the rescued man.
“You had to do the old New Zealander thing and have a beer with him.”