1 Jan 2011

Pair praised for rescuing woman from harbour

1:06 pm on 1 January 2011

Two men are being hailed as heroes after they saved a woman from almost certain death after she fell in Wellington harbour on New Year's Day.

The 39-year-old is in a serious condition in hospital after she fell off Glasgow Wharf about 2am on Saturday near where a vessel owned by Bluebridge Cook Strait Ferries was docked.

A spokesperson for the company, Wendy Pannett, says staff were alerted by the woman's screams and two crew members jumped in with a lifebuoy and swam out to retrieve her.

"I think she may have been unconscious at that stage. A very nice way to start the new year by saving someone's life."

The woman was revived by emergency services at the scene. She is being treated in Wellington Hospital for hypothermia and is expected to make a full recovery.

Ms Pannett says crew are trained in rescue procedures, but this usually involves dropping a rescue boat into the water rather than swimming out themselves, which makes the men's actions even more heroic.

The men were back at work on Saturday. Wellington police Inspector Simon Perry says the woman would have drowned and he praised the men's efforts.