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Karioitahi Beach, the scene of the tragedy.

Karioitahi Beach, the scene of the tragedy. Photo: AucklandNZ.com


The Inertia

Just after noon at a beach about 40 miles southwest of Auckland, New Zealand, an unconscious surfer was pulled from the water. A dozen lifeguards, paramedics, and a doctor struggled for more than an hour to save his life, but they were unable to resuscitate him.

According to the New Zealand Herald, man at Karioitahi Beach saw the surfer, a man in his mid 30s to early 40s, waving for help. The beachgoer swam out and dragged the unconscious man to shore, where he began CPR. Another bystander ran to the nearby Karioitahi Surf Lifesaving Club to get help. Mike Lawrence, the head of the club, said the surfer was just north of the club and a flagged area when he was pulled from the water. “He did a fantastic job and got him back to shore,” he said of the attempted rescue. “[He] gave the guy the best chance possible.”

After the alarm was raised, nine senior lifeguards worked on the victim with oxygen and defibrillators for nearly half an hour until paramedics arrived on scene. Soon after, a helicopter with a doctor on board landed on the beach. Despite rescuers best efforts, the man was pronounced dead.

The man’s identity and details of the accident haven’t been released.

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