Pike River: Celebrate one man’s determination to save his mate

A disaster like that which has happened at the Pike River mine is always difficult to cope with. The families of 29 miners have no idea whether their loved ones are dead or alive, or if alive, whether they can be rescued.

It is tempting to want to attribute blame, whether it be to the mining company, or to the rescue/recovery effort. And blame may eventually be attributed, after an inquiry, and I hope the one the Government has promised will be a genuine one that has terms of reference wide enough to cover all possible wrong-doing.

But for now, let’s not try to attribute blame. Let’s celebrate the heroism of one man, Daniel Rockhouse, who almost incoherent and barely able to walk from the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning, managed to drag his workmate Russell Smith out of the mine.

Without Daniel’s help, Russell Smith would almost certainly have died in the mine.

There will be a time for recriminations, for finding out who is responsible, and possibly criminally culpable, for this disaster. But that time in not now.

Now is the time to celebrate the heroism of Daniel Rockhouse whose brother is still trapped and possibly has died in the mine, but who risked his own life to save his mate.

7 thoughts on “Pike River: Celebrate one man’s determination to save his mate

  1. Well said Russel. And a good idea to concentrate on something positive in such a terrible situation.

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  2. What an amazing escape, he kept his head, used logic and managed to get out even though he was almost poisoned, and save another dude on the way.
    Good on ya mate.

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  3. Well said frog. Thankfully Daniel Rockhouse’s True kiwi grit and determination came through when it was needed.

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  4. A pat on the back also to Air NZ who sent in trauma councilors – one for each family.

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  5. Now that’s one person Russell will be celebrating for the rest of his life. Imagine owing someone you life, how cool is that! But it need be said that very few people exist who could have done what Daniel did. Cheers for a hero.

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