26 Aug 2013

Youth risks life in sea in Taranaki escape bid

10:58 pm on 26 August 2013

A teenager has been treated in hospital after jumping into rough seas off New Plymouth during a police chase.

Police say the 16-year-old boy was in the sea for up to five minutes before being swept back on to rocks and then assisted by two officers.

Detective Inspector Keith Borrell says the teenager was chased through the central business district and on to the coastal walkway after officers went to speak to him about an assault.

He jumped off rocks near the Wind Wand sculpture.

The teenager suffered bruising, and was tired and cold, after the lunchtime incident.

"It's been quite heavy seas at the time. He's been tossed around by the sea for three to five minutes," Mr Borrell said. "IRBs (inflatable rescue boats) and rescue helicopters were actually called but police officers, fearing for his safety, climbed down on the rocks and when he was swept in by a wave managed to grab him."

Mr Borrell says the boy was very lucky and had put lives at risk, including his own.

He was released from hospital into police custody and officers are speaking regarding the alleged assault.