From Ohope, New Zealand (“rip” means “riptide”):
3rd Jan 2013 2:30 PM Updated: 6:25 PM
A police officer is being called a hero after rescuing two 11-year-old boys and a man from a rip in Ohope.
Constable Dean Oswald _ who has been involved in surf lifesaving since childhood _ stripped to his underwear and plunged into Ohiwa Harbour to reach the boys, who had got caught in a rip, and the man who had got into trouble while trying to save them.
Mr Oswald praised another man and a 19-year-old who arrived at the beach with lifejackets and waded out behind him to help the rescue. They reached one child and Mr Oswald reached the other. The pair then helped the boys to shore while Mr Oswald swam out further to reach the man.
“One of the boys said `My uncle, my uncle’ and I saw him further out, lying face-up with waves breaking over him. He was conscious but I’d say pretty close to going under,” Mr Oswald said.
“It took about 15 minutes to pull him back to shore _ every time a wave came I said to him ‘close your eyes, close your mouth, we’re going under’.”
Once ashore the three were picked up by helicopter and taken to Whakatane Hospital. One boy was kept in overnight but is understood to be recovering. …
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