Dan­ger­ous mud traps boy

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By CHRIS GARD­NER

A fire­fighter stripped to his un­der­wear to res­cue a 14-year-old Toko­roa boy who had sunk up to his armpits in mud at Lake Moananui on Sun­day evening.

Se­nior fire fighter Paul Carter didn’t spare a thought for the cold when he stripped down to his un­der­wear and T-shirt and went to the aid of Piri Tau­tari who had sunk into the mud at the lake at 5.21pm.

The lake has been drained for weed con­trol, leav­ing fish­ers no choice but to tra­verse the wet mud to get to the wa­ter and fish in the mid­dle. Piri sank about 15 me­tres from the nor­mal lake shore dur­ing a lone fish­ing trip.

‘‘He had sunk as far as he could go,’’ said Mr Carter who, with other fire­fight­ers, slid a stretcher out on to the mud to the Toko­roa High School pupil. Piri grabbed the stretcher and was pulled to safety over sev­eral min­utes . . . and his boots stayed on.

‘‘It was more muddy than cold,’’ Mr Carter said.

Piri, who went fish­ing with no cell­phone, does not know who called the fire ser­vice but he said he was ex­tremely grate­ful to ev­ery­one who was in­volved in his res­cue.

‘‘It was quick,’’ Piri said. ‘‘It took about five min­utes to sink and I made it worse by wrig­gling. I was an­gry with my­self for get­ting my­self stuck. It was just stupid.’’

It took about 20 min­utes to get him free.

He went straight home where he threw his muddy clothes in the wash and jumped in a hot shower.

Butch Bis­ley, pres­i­dent of Toko­roa Sports Fish­ing As­so­ci­a­tion, said Piri was lucky some­body had seen he was in dis­tress and rung for help.

‘‘He does a lot of night fish­ing. He could have been stuck all night. Re­ally, it could have been fatal,’’ he said.

Mr Bis­ley said he was fre­quently mov­ing chil­dren as young as three on from fish­ing at the lake un­su­per­vised as late as half an hour be­fore dusk.

Par­ents needed to be aware of where their chil­dren were at all times, he said.

Res­cued: Pipi Tau­tiri was grate­ful some­one saw him.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.