One of the two Automated External Defibrillator units at Mauao is missing.
Exceed systems administrator Melisa Wilson said the base track unit was first noticed missing on November 5 after a 111 call was made and the access code was given out.
Wilson said it was “concerning as it won’t be able to be used as needed”.
Exceed We Fix Windows & Doors donated both units in 2020 and maintains them.
They are positioned at the top of the junction of the Waikorire and Oruahine tracks, and on the base track.
“Every minute that a defibrillator is not used, a person’s chance of surviving a cardiac arrest decreases by 10 per cent,” Wilson said.
She said the defibrillator on the Mauao base track also went missing in May 2022 and was never recovered.
She said the cost of a defibrillator was about $3500.
Surf Life Saving NZ’s eastern region lifesaving manager Chaz Gibbons-Campbell was disappointed it was missing because “the research all shows the faster you can get a defibrillator on somebody, the more likely chance they have of coming out the other end”.
Lifeguards were the first to respond in a serious incident because of the beach’s proximity, Gibbons-Campbell said.
“If somebody was sent off to go and get the defibrillator and they find that it’s not there, then they’ve wasted their energy and it’s going to take a lot longer because the lifeguards or St John will have to come up with one.”
The Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service has recently dealt with increased incidents on the mountain due to the cruise ships coming in.
“Just this Tuesday we had the elderly gentleman slip over and hurt his hip and an elderly woman slip over and break her ankle.”
Harriet Laughton is a multi-media journalist based in the Bay of Plenty.