A 16-year-old lifeguard saves four people in difficulty. It happened at Hot Water Beach, near Auckland in New Zealand. Star of his perfect day was James Lee, a lifeguard only 16 years old, who brought to shore four bathers in three separate incidents. The beach, with hot water springs right on the shoreline, is very popular with locals, but is one of the most dangerous in the country: in just the 2012-2013 season, there were 79 sea rescues.
“I keep thinking of those people, who would certainly have drowned if I hadn’t acted” remembers James, thinking back over the events of that afternoon. In the first rescue, the boy helped two children aged 9 and 11 years, who were being carried out by the current beyond the breakwater: without the help of any rescue aid the lifeguard had to calm the panicking boys, then bring them back to shore with the help of some surfers. Only 20 minutes later, another bather got into difficulty when he was sucked out to sea by a strong current: James managed to reach him and save him just in time to get back in the water and bring to shore a 20-year-old who had fallen victim to the same current. “As soon as I got back to shore I realised we had to close the beach, the conditions were just too dangerous. I had an adrenalin rush, they were indescribable moments “.