Western Leader : November 29th 2011
www.aucklandnow.co.nz Tuesday, November 29, 2011 Call 0800bartender to find out how to get a great career in hospitality and an iPad 2! Want a free iPad 2? Always giving: The late Jess Hosking -- young, happy and always willing to put her life on the line for others. A lifeguard's legacy By VANITA PRASAD IT WAS a bright winter morning in August when members of the Piha Surf Life Saving Club gathered to form a guard of honour for a life saver lost. All were there to mourn the death of 19-year-old Jess Hosking who spent the last years of her life help- ing keep people safe in the water. The Swanson teenager was work- ing as a nanny in Luxembourg when she died of natural causes just short of her 20th birthday during a visit to Paris with the children she looked after. Jess joined the ranks of the Piha club every summer from the age of 15 to keep watch over a beach she knew like the back of her hand. Now her mother Sandra Hosking is getting behind Project Surf to honour her daughter s legacy. The Mad Butcher and Suburban Newspapers Community Trust, proudly supported by the Western Leader, is joining forces with Surf Life Saving New Zealand to raise $113,000 to buy much-needed res- cue and training equipment. It s the sort of cause Jess would have approved of. Mrs Hosking remembers her daughter as a strong swimmer from an early age, always eager to tackle Piha s tough conditions. She d always be doing stuff on patrol and was the first person to put her hand up to swim out if they needed someone to, Mrs Hosking says. She d never back down to a challenge. Water safety was a major concern for Jess who was always baffled by how many beachgoers put them- selves and their families at risk. One day she came home after the crew performed 1500 preventative rescues which goes to show how busy it can get out there, Mrs Hosking says. Jess couldn t believe how so many people didn t know what they were doing in the water. A lot of tourists get told straight away about how beautiful Piha is and they rush straight there. Jess was one of 16 lifeguards involved in the rescue of a man caught in heavy surf in the summer of 2008-2009. The incident featured on the Piha Rescue television show. I think that really scared her and left her a bit shell-shocked but she performed really well, Mrs Hosking says. The man survived and the life savers won the club s rescue of the month award. Being a surf life saver was more than just a summer job for Jess, who was fully involved with the club competitions, social events and the junior Huntington Exchange. She travelled to California in 2009 on the surf life saving exchange with other junior club members where she met American lifeguard Alissa Bartlett. Miss Bartlett says Jess was ready to rescue people even if she wasn t on duty. One day we took a trip to Bethells Beach where we saw some people in a rip heading towards the rocks and she jumped in and res- cued them. Miss Bartlett says being a life- guard isn t easy. It can be very stressful and draining being out there all day. But Jess had a way of making it fun for everyone. The Hoskings have set up a fund to help other junior lifeguards fol- low Jess s footsteps on the Piha- Huntington Exchange. Donations collected at this year's Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park, also supported by the Western Leader, will go to Surf Life Saving New Zealand. The free annual event will be held at the Auckland Domain on December 10. Keep an eye on future issues of this newspaper for more details. HOW TO DONATE The Mad Butcher and Suburban Newspapers Community Trust, proudly supported by the Western Leader, is joining forces with Surf Life Saving New Zealand to raise $113,000 to buy rescue and training equipment. The gear bought will be distributed among surf life saving clubs at Omaha, Red Beach, Orewa, Mairangi Bay, Piha, United North Piha, Muriwai, Bethells, Karekare, Sunset Beach and Kariaotahi. Readers wanting to donate to the Project Surf fundraiser can post cheques, made out to the Mad Butcher and Suburban Newspapers Community Trust, to: Project Surf, Private Bag 92815, Penrose, Auckland 1642. Dona- tions can also be banked into the trust's Westpac account 03-0243- 0268896-000 or left in collection tins at the Western Leader office, 2 Waipareira Ave, Henderson.
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