The popular Rawhitiroa Memorial pool in Eltham was closed for a while on Sunday following an incident in which a young man was injured while using the diving board at the pool.
Describing the young man as a confident and regular user of the diving board, South Taranaki District Council's communications manager Gerard Langford says on this occasion he slipped and the board recoiled and hit his leg on its upward motion.
One witness, Sonia Rova, who was present for her son's birthday party says about four adults from my son's party helped the lifeguard get the injured man out of the pool. Saying that they could see bones poking out of his shin and foot, Sonia adds that it was fortunate the adults present were qualified in first aid, as it took some time to get him out and comfortable.
Jayden Strickland, of the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter, says that there was fantastic involvement by the public in managing the patient on to the stretcher and loading the patient into the aircraft when the helicopter arrived at the scene. The ambulance crew responding to the incident had called for the helicopter and Jayden says that they made a stop on the way to the incident to collect a St John intensive care paramedic from Merrilands Domain. It is not unusual to pick up essential medical personnel from outer locations sports fields, domains, paddocks compared to the rescue helicopter base as this expedites response capabilities to locate and treat the patient, he explains.
The young man injured has now had a second trip in the rescue helicopter, as he has been transferred to Waikato Hospital for further treatment.
When the Stratford Press spoke to his mother, she was planning to travel up to Hamilton to be with him and to celebrate his 18th birthday with him (on Tuesday). She added that the accident "was no one's fault, it is just one of those things unfortunately" and hoped that people would not be put off using the pool as a result.