Brav­ery runs in this fam­ily

Central Leader - - NEWS - By ANNA LOREN

A painful leg in­jury didn’t stop Brett Clark from sav­ing a life.

The One­hunga man ended up on a drip in hospi­tal af­ter a dar­ing res­cue near Kawakawa Bay.

Now he, his cousin De­tec­tive Bron­wyn Matthews and her hus­band Dean Or­gan from Ep­som have been recog­nised by the Coun­ties Manukau po­lice for their brav­ery.

They were hol­i­day­ing at neigh­bour­ing baches on De­cem­ber 14 when Mr Clark no­ticed two people in the wa­ter about 50 me­tres from the coast­line.

Their small fish­ing boat had run out of fuel and they were try­ing to swim to the beach but were strug­gling to reach the shore.

‘‘I could see there was an is­sue out there but I didn’t have my glasses on. I couldn’t see what was hap­pen­ing but I could see they needed help,’’ Mr Clark says.

He rang for emer­gency ser­vices be­fore rush­ing to the aid of one of the men, badly sprain­ing his an­kle as he went.

Mr Or­gan swam to the other man, who was float­ing face-down in an ill-fit­ting life jacket. The two res­cuers dragged the pair to shore and joined Mrs Matthews ad­min­is­ter­ing CPR un­til emer­gency ser­vices ar­rived about 25 min­utes later.

The first man ‘‘had a lung­ful of wa­ter’’ but even­tu­ally started breath­ing on his own.

He was taken Mid­dle­more Hospi­tal treat­ment and was charged the next day.

The sec­ond man

to for dis-

died be­fore he could be reached by res­cuers.

He was later iden­ti­fied as 54-year-old Sa­muel Ben­jamin, of Ma­nurewa.

Mr Clark was treated at Mid­dle­more Hospi­tal for his leg in­jury but ended up in Auck­land Hospi­tal af­ter his leg be­came in­fected.

He spent two nights on an an­tibi­otic drip and still suf­fers a great deal of pain from his in­jury.

Mr Or­gan says his cousinin-law’s ef­forts were truly heroic.

‘‘Af­ter about half an hour I looked at his leg and it looked bro­ken – I can’t be­lieve it wasn’t,’’ he says.

‘‘I don’t know how he did what he did with his leg. A lot of people wouldn’t have, that’s for sure.’’

Mr Or­gan says his son Daniel, 7, was also a ‘‘lit­tle hero’’ on the day.

‘‘When I was in the wa­ter, he started pulling my dinghy down the beach be­cause he could hear me ask­ing for a boat.

‘‘He saw ev­ery­thing but he was very calm.’’

Coun­ties Manukau po­lice cen­tral area com­man­der In­spec­tor Ju­lia Lynch pre­sented the trio with cer­tifi­cates of ap­pre­ci­a­tion at a cer­e­mony in Ma­nurewa last Fri­day.

She says their ac­tions are to be com­mended and are ‘‘within the high­est tra­di­tions’’ of the New Zealand po­lice.

Photo: ANNA LOREN

Heroic fam­ily: The po­lice hon­our a fam­ily for sav­ing a man from drown­ing from left: De­tec­tive Bron­wyn Matthews, Dean Or­gan and Brett Clark, with 7-year-old Daniel Or­gan.

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