Mark Adam with his rescuers Mark Adam with his rescuers CREDIT: Surf Life Saving New Zealand

Survivor of near drowning supports National Jandal Day

Friday 11 November 2011, 5:48PM
By Surf Life Saving New Zealand

Earlier this year school teacher Mark Adam was lying on Mangawhai Beach unconscious and not breathing. He has no memory of that day other than the sound of the helicopter overhead that had come to take him to hospital.

Mark got in to trouble while swimming with friends. His girlfriend got him to shore and raised the alarm. Within minutes surf lifeguards from Mangawhai Heads Volunteer Lifeguard Service were on the scene. They performed CPR and successfully resuscitated him.

Mark is adamant that without their quick actions and skills he would not be here today. Now, he is urging the public to get behind National Jandal Day and donate to Surf Life Saving’s national appeal to ensure that this essential public service continues to save lives on our beaches.

Says Mark, “When the lifeguards got to me I was in a really bad way. I had no pulse and was unconscious. They did CPR and gave me a series of shocks with the heart defibrillator – they literally brought me back to life. Just before the ambulance arrived I began to respond. If it wasn’t for those lifeguards on the beach that day, I would not have survived.”

It was a calm day and the conditions were good. Mark was not swimming between the flags but he says he will always do so in the future.

Patrol Captain, Richard Kannemeyer was one of the lifeguards who rescued Mark that day. “On the day the conditions were really good and the surf was minimal. It just goes to show that people can get in to serious trouble at any time, in any type of water. No one is immune.”

Mark and Richard will be joining thousands of lifeguards across the country who will be shaking buckets on National Jandal Day – Friday 2 December – to raise much needed donations for Surf Life Saving.

Now in its fifth year, National Jandal Day is proudly supported by State. Donations received will go to Surf Life Saving clubs throughout New Zealand allowing them to train more lifeguards, increase patrols and buy essential equipment to help save lives and prevent injuries.

Mark is one of the lucky ones. This year alone 103 people have drowned, up from 72 at the same time last year.

For Kiwis, our beaches are our favourite playground, but yet we have almost double the drowning rate of Australia. Drowning is the third highest cause of unintentional death in New Zealand. The service we provide on the beaches touches thousands of ordinary Kiwis every year.

Says Richard, “As a charity we rely on the big-hearted support of the public and we hope Kiwis will wear their jandals and dig deep to donate to such an important cause.”

Anyone can be part of National Jandal Day 2011, whether you are a school, business or community group. Register today at