An 11-year-old Mount Maunganui boy began a surf rescue at Omanu Beach which helped save a man's life, it has been revealed.
Omanu Beach Surf Life Saving Club junior member Jayden Rutten was at the beach on Tuesday afternoon when he was approached by a man asking if he could help his friend, who was caught in a rip.
Jayden's mother Rhonda Patterson said her son went out on his foam kneeboard and tried towing the man by holding on to his feet.
When that didn't work, Jayden put the man on his board and kept him calm while other club members came to help.
Junior surf co-ordinator Jonathan York said the fact Jayden had the presence of mind to do the right things to help the man, while keeping his own safety in check, was especially significant.
"He's not even old enough to go for his lifeguard awards," Mr York said.
People must be 14 years or older before they graduate to a lifeguard.