Survival tale to dine out on at Christmas lunch
The diver who was lost at sea for four days and three nights will tell all as part of the Mad Butcher Suburban Newspapers Community Trust Christmas lunch.
Former navy diver Rob Hewitt was missing off Kapiti Island for so long searchers were out looking for a body when they found him.
Mr Hewitt’s amazing survival story captivated world audiences and now he will tell it at the Ellerslie Convention Centre on December 12.
The brother of former All Black and Dancing with the Stars winner Norm was twice so consumed by hopelessness that he tried to kill himself by unzipping his wetsuit to fill it with water so he would drown.
Trust chairman Peter Leitch says Mr Hewitt’s story makes whoever hears it examine their priorities.
And the trust has taken a change in approach this year, with individuals urged to buy tickets and come along.
“In the past we have targeted corporates and we hope they will still come but this year we want lots of people to buy individual tickets and we will make up tables for them because Rob just has to be heard.”
All the proceeds will be donated to Kidz First hospital at Middlemore and anyone who attends will have the opportunity to bid for auction items to kit out the special children’s rooms in the new intensive care facilities.
Mr Hewitt says the experience changed his priorities and he will never forget the angel and devil that sat on each shoulder whispering to him.
“What got me through was hope, and having faith.”
That faith was rewarded when at 4.02pm on Wednesday, February 8, 2006, he was rescued.
“I remember the exact moment because I thought the boat was another hallucination.”
He is trying to be a better person and a better father.
“I’m only human. I slip back into the old ways but I think I am a better father and partner now.”
The trust helps the community and has given away more than $1 million.
Every cent goes to good causes. There are no administration staff and trustees all volunteer – they even have to pay for their own tickets to functions.
To get tickets email shandall@ madbutcher.co.nz or call her on 268-2912. Tables of 10 are $1800 plus GST while single tickets are $180 plus GST.
Changed man: Rob Hewitt says his priorities have changed forever.