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Sealegs ‘Annual Drive-Away Sale’ Saves a Life

Sealegs hosted the first of their now annual ‘Drive-Away’ events at Browns Bay beach on Saturday. While the sale was a huge success – what the Sealegs team were not expecting was the event resulting in them saving the life of a member of the public … a far more significant outcome.

David McKee-Wright, Sealegs founder and CEO commented – ‘I was contacted by a very thankful member of the public on Sunday who rung to thank “the guy from Sealegs” who saved his life.  As he  explained, he had been fishing off rocks at the far end of Browns Bay beach with a mate when he  decided to go for a swim to collect kina. With an outgoing tide, strong offshore breeze blowing and the water being only around 16 degrees, he quickly got into trouble as he was dragged out to sea.

His mate saw him disappearing, but afraid to enter the water rung 111, then waited and hoped rescue services would arrive in time.  It was then that an onlooker saw the Sealegs boats lined up for the event on the beach and ran to them yelling for help.  Warren, a Sealegs employee was the first to hear the cries and immediately responded  - the key word being immediately. Leaping into a Sealegs craft, in moments he was across the sand and into the water driving directly to where the distressed swimmer was last seen.  Within a couple of minutes, the swimmer, barely able tread water any longer was dragged on to the Sealegs craft which duly return to shore - a potential tragedy averted.

Several minutes after their safe return to shore the rescue helicopter that had been scrambled was turned back, as were Coastguard and the police launch. Exhausted and mildly hypothermic the patient was comforted until an ambulance arrived with medical professionals then taking over.  The patient was then loaded into an ambulance and taken for treatment and further observation. The comment was passed that in emergency situations like this second’s count – with the ability to launch and be sea borne in a matter of seconds, once again an amphibious craft spelt the difference between life and death.

McKee-Wright went on to say ‘occasionally people comment that Sealegs amphibious craft are too expensive to be deployed on as rescue options on public beaches – compared to the cost of deploying a helicopter, the police launch Deodar, a Coastguard boat and 2 x police cars to a rescue even – a situation solved by one person in a Sealegs not only makes the Sealegs rescue option look overwhelmingly cost effective, but can mean the difference between life and death.

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