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An astonishing rescue at Karekare

Posted by SCe Comments Off on An astonishing rescue at Karekare
Hazel Bentham in her nurse's uniform

Hazel Bentham in her nurse’s uniform

In 1935, not long after the Piha surf club was established, a young nurse called Hazel Bentham got into trouble while swimming with a lilo at neighbouring Karekare beach.

Pulled far out to sea by a rip, she clung to her lilo while frantic attempts to reach her were made by the Piha life savers, who had raced over from Piha bringing a line and reel. But even their best swimmers could not quite make it out to  Hazel.

Then  Wally Badham, a qualified pilot and also one of the family running Winchelsea House Boarding House, had the bright idea of ringing Hobsonville Air Base to see if a float plane might be able to brought to the Coast to reach Hazel.

And that’s just what happened, the miraculous rescue being performed by Sidney Wallingford  using a Fairey 3F bi plane.

The story was recently (Jan/Feb 2013) retold in Metro magazine by Charles Hamlin. You can read it here.

Against the sea and sky Metro article

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