Good samaritan robbed

By Viv Logie

In a cruel twist of fate the man who leapt into the sea on Tuesday in an attempt to save the drowning skipper of the Lady Anna, returned to shore to find that a callous thief had stolen his clothes.
Cobden surfer Steve Newby, who biked to the Cobden tiphead on the morning of the tragedy to check out the waves, stripped off and dived into the rough, chilly sea to help the distressed skipper, Nicholas Eklund.
By the time he reached him Mr Eklund was unconscious, but he swam with him back to shore. A shivering Mr Newby was given a blanket by police to keep warm as he watched in horror the unsuccessful attempts by paramedics to revive the skipper, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
Left to fend for himself, Mr Newby clambered back down the rocks where he had stripped off his top layers of clothing and boots, but they had gone. They had been left high and dry, well away from the reach of the water and had not been swept away.
“My brand new Swanndri jacket, a grey pure wool jersey with a Solid Energy logo on it, my gumboots and my new bike helmet were gone.”
His keys were also taken.
The Greymouth Star has fielded a number of phone calls from people disgusted at the theft.
Mr Newby had initially hoped his gear would be handed in to the police.
A police spokesman today suggested that someone may have picked up the clothing “for safekeeping” and urged whoever had it to give it to the police so they could return it to Mr Newby.