28 Dec 2017

Injured grandad jokes about doing cliff 'bombs'

4:34 pm on 28 December 2017

Two teenage boys who saved the life of an elderly man when he fell from a cliff said they didn't think twice before rushing to pull his body from the water.

The 81-year-old man had been with his family at Little Manly Beach in Whangaparoa on Boxing Day when he fell from the 6m cliff, and hit the rocks below.

Billy Dowd, who was swimming nearby with his friend Kieran Pangalina, said they acted quickly.

"I didn't see the whole thing. He could've slipped or stumbled or hesitated. It could've been anything, and we didn't see that bit, but he just fell. We heard a crash, bang, and he was in the water bleeding so it was kind of a ... get in the water and get him out."

The boys have been in touch with the family of the man, who was taken to Auckland City Hospital with a fractured skull and a hip injury.

Intensive care paramedic Casey Drum said the grandfather was responsive when they reached him and in good spirits.

He said the local man had even been joking about doing "bombs" into the water.

"I think he's a local chap who's certainly familiar with the bombing spot.

"We had a little joke on the way to hospital that he may have even invented the bombing spot."