Auckland yachtsman Paul Francis visited Mount Smart Stadium with his family on Wednesday to thank the Vodafone Warriors for helping to save his 20-year-old son Harry off Takapuna Beach last week.
The NRL players were fishing on the Waitemata Harbour when police called for help in the search for Harry who had gone missing while swimming off Takapuna.
The players pulled their lines up and joined in the hunt. Centre Matt Allwood spotted Harry in the distance and shortly after he was safely hauled out of the water by the police.
Accompanied by his wife Jayne, their daughters Vicky and Julia plus Harry, Paul Francis said the family wanted to thank the Vodafone Warriors for helping to save Harry.
"The family and caregivers wanted to show their appreciation to the players for taking the time out to look for Harry when the alert was given," he said.
"What was even more pleasing was that they were successful in helping to find him and we're grateful forever."
Francis said the family had rushed to Takapuna Beach when they were alerted by caregivers that Harry had gone missing.
"About an hour had gone by and we know Harry's a good swimmer but time was going on and we were getting really concerned," he said.
"We're really thankful to everyone concerned."
Francis said it had been a special thrill for the family to front the players to thank them.
"I'm impressed with the discipline and the set-up here at the Warriors," he said.'
Captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck presented Harry with a Vodafone Warriors while the family was given tickets to attend the club's NRL season-opener at Mount Smart Stadium on Sunday.