23 Dec 2010

Fisherman survives thanks to 'angel ring'

1:03 pm on 23 December 2010

A flotation device known as an angel ring is being credited with saving the life of a fisherman in Auckland.

The man was swept off rocks at South Piha on Wednesday afternoon.

In the past year, Surf Life Saving New Zealand has installed dozens of the rings, which have a long rope attached, at West Coast beaches in case of an emergency.

Senior constable Barry Gallagher from the police eagle helicopter was involved in Wednesday's rescue and says the man is incredibly lucky to be alive.

He says the man was flown to hospital where he was treated for serious cuts and bruises, which he suffered after waves repeatedly threw him against rocks.

Senior constable Gallagher is warning fishermen to remain aware of changing ocean conditions this summer and to always wear a life jacket.