Maxim Kuvyrkov is indebted to the Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter and its supporters for flying him to hospital after nearly drowning.
“Our family takes a trip to Raglan Beach once a month. On our visit in March, I went for my usual swim. I’m not a good swimmer so never go far.
However, the current started to drag me out and I couldn’t touch the bottom any longer. I was trying my best to get back. My wife, Maria, had seen me from the shore and tried to reach me.
A kite surfer raced out to help Maria drag me to shore as I had lost consciousness. Many people came from nowhere to help. They phoned emergency services, got instructions on how to revive me and get the water out of my lungs. It was a devastating scene for Maria.
I regained consciousness on the beach and after five minutes the ambulance arrived. Then the rescue helicopter appeared.
I spent 24 hours in Waikato Hospital under observation but recovered very quickly. Had the ambulance and bystanders not revived me, and had the helicopter not flown me to the hospital, my recovery time would have been much longer.
We are very surprised at how well the emergency services here in New Zealand work and the fact they are available is amazing to us. There was an ambulance at very short notice; there was a helicopter at very short notice. We are so very thankful that it turned out the way it did.