National | Police

Teenager's courageous rescue efforts recognised by police

Photo / File

Police have acknowledged the heroic efforts of a teenager who died trying to save the life of a young girl from the Waikato River in Taupō last week.

Logan Ken Hughes, an 18-year-old from Taihape, passed away on Friday in a courageous attempt to save the life of a 12-year-old girl, police said in a statement underlining the risk the fast-flowing river presents.

Police said the rescue attempted by Hughes, who himself got into trouble in the water, was an "instinctive display of humanity".

Another person jumped in and helped the girl to safety.

Later, in trying conditions, police said "several rescuers worked tremendously hard to retrieve the 18-year-old from about seven metres of water.

"CPR was performed for 40 minutes and medical staff did all they could to save him, but he died in hospital."

Because of this incident and another two-days earlier, which prompted a full-scale search involving a helicopter for a person thought to have got into difficulty in the river, police are issuing a safety warning.

"We’re not out to stop anyone from having fun, but we want people to pause and consider: if you’re getting in the water, are you confident of getting yourself out?," Senior Constable Barry Shepherd of the Bay of Plenty Police said.

"It’s a beautiful river and a perfect place to cool off this summer. But please do pay attention to the dangers and the signs posted by the river.

"If you can stay safe, we hopefully won’t be seeing you this summer."