Missing man put students first - wife
Fri, 10 Aug 2012 6:01p.m.
By Michael Morrah
The wife of the New Plymouth instructor who dived into heavy swells in an attempt to save two teenagers says her husband's life and work was all about putting his students first.
Bryce Jordain was leading a group of Spotswood College students on a rock climbing expedition on Wednesday.
His wife Robyn Jourdain was comforted by her sister as she spoke of the last time she saw her husband, Bryce. They have two children: Isaac aged 12, and Grace aged nine.
"It was the morning of Nick Willis running so that was exciting that morning, and we just said goodbye as we normally do but he said to me which is very uncanny, ‘Darling you mean everything to me, see you tonight.'"
Just a few hours later Mr Jourdain, an experienced and passionate outdoor instructor with local company Topec, dived into the water after students, Stephen Kahukaka-Gedye and Filepe Melo, who fell while climbing Paritutu Rock.
None of the three have been seen since.
"We were just talking the other day about his wonderful job and he said, 'Darling it's not about me, it's about the students,'” Ms Jourdain says.
The search for those students and Mr Jourdain saw teams of recreational boaties doing grid searches of New Plymouth's northern beaches today.
They also kept a close watch on the water around Paritutu Rock, where the three went missing in the surf more than 50 hours ago.
Volunteer searcher Murray Chong wants everyone to pitch in.
"I just think we all need to go out there and search. We are volunteers and doing it as a private search in honour of the families and their friends."
Along with the private search teams, life guards have been working in rotation throughout the day and defence personal have been scouring the shoreline.
That search will now be scaled down, police inspector Frank Grant says.
"We will not be using any air capability unless we deem it necessary."
Mrs Jourdain is full of praise for those who've helped in the search for her husband. She says he’s a wonderful husband, father and colleague.
“Bryce, you are my rock, we love you.”
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11/08/2012 5:22:02 p.m.
I have done this climb 3 times with TOPEC and once under Mr. Jordains guidance. I can only assume it was a freak accident. In the climbing route we followed all three times there was only the one area where you are unharnessed. I would gladly go around with TOPEC again tomorrow. TOPEC has an outstanding safety record but offer certain activities whether its absailing down centre city in NP or Ice Caving up MT Egmont these activities will always carry an element of risk. I shed a tear when i heard Mr Jourdain was the instructor as he helped carry me when i tripped over doing the orienteering up the Mountain. He was always putting students first and he will be greatly missed
11/08/2012 1:24:06 a.m.
Wise Owl wrote:
Unfortunately this "incident" (note I didn't refer to "accident" because this incident was most likely preventable and therefore not an "accident") again highlights the fact that in NZ there is a problem with many differentiating between "safety" and "risk".
Whilst it is all very well (and arguably desirable and even necessary to individual development) to expose youngsters to risk in order to develop their character, skills and judgement there is no excuse for exposing them to a situation and or conditions which could compromise their ultimate safety especially in a commercial situation.
Sorry, but in this day and age there are so many safety systems and safety technology options available that it is just ignorance and or negligence that is the cause of these types of tragedies.
The real "root cause" of these tragedies however is a lack of leadership from those who know of these advanced safety systems yet do nothing to ensure they become industry best practice - which includes the government, government regulators and the industry representative organisations.
The best thing that Robyn Jourdain and the families of the victims could do in light of this incident is to ensure that this type of education continues safely by lobbying government, government regulators and industry representatives to promote higher standards of safety for this industry going forward.
10/08/2012 9:03:55 p.m.
valerie fletcher wrote:
It is more than just bravery to put your life on the line for others, it is an instictive quality in some people to try and help even if it means that you are giving up your own life. Their is no greater or more humbly sacrifice that one can make than that.
10/08/2012 8:21:19 p.m.
Heartfelt sympathy to those who have lost loved ones. I'm sure he would have done everything possible to save both students and it would not have been possible to help both.
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