2012-13 patrol statistics announced

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Finalised patrol statistics for the 2012/13 Surf Life Saving season, which spans from July 2012 to June 2013, show rescue numbers have increased by 55 percent on last season.

Statistics are reflective of what was a very busy year of surf lifesaving and one of the country's busiest summers on record. Naturally, in response to the warm weather, visitor numbers increased which in turn increased the risk of people getting into trouble on our beaches.

Surf lifeguards spent 211,978 hours patrolling around 80 beaches, rescuing 1,645 people which is 581 rescues above last year's total of 1,064.

They also performed 1,979 first aid treatments, up by 481 or a 32 percent increase on last year's figures.

Outstandingly, the number of preventative actions is up by 29,953 on last season with lifeguards undertaking 114,233 preventative actions- a 35 percent increase on last year's figure of 84,280.

Lifeguards undertook 357 searches, 125 more compared to last season's 232, which is a 54 percent increase.

They spent a total of 211,978 hours on patrol, compared to 206,479 hours last season. 

Nationwide, the largest number of rescues took place at Muriwai on Auckland's West Coast where there was 67 rescues, followed by Taylors Mistake in Christchurch with 53 rescues and Mt Maunganui with 49. Opunake (45) and Raglan (44) rounded out the top five spots.

Top 10 rescues stats

  • Muriwai - 67       
  • Taylors Mistake - 53
  • Mt Maunganui - 49
  • Opunake - 45
  • Raglan - 44
  • Omanu - 42
  • Kariaotahi - 41
  • Hot Water Beach - 33
  • Waimarama - 24
  • St Kilda - 24
  • Sumner - 24
  • Paekakariki/Foxton - 23

2012-13 patrol statistics

Visit for previous seasons.

Region Total hours patrolled Number of rescues Number of First Aids Number of searches Number of preventative actions Safety interventions
Northern 80,048 643 789 134 37,196 131,610
Eastern 57,769 428 579 60 38,956 131,054
Central 41,817 348 433 102 18,684 36,159
Southern 32,344 226 178 61 19,397 51,004
SLSNZ total 211,978  1,645 1,979 357 114,233 349,827

Column definitions 

Total hours worked: Total hours worked by all Surf Lifeguards.

Number of rescues: A 'rescue' is an instance where a person requires assistance to return to shore (or a place of safety) and whom without assistance would have suffered distress or injury, or drowned. This column records all these rescues. 

Number of first aids: A 'first aid' is any incident where a victim is administered some form of first aid treatment. This column records the total number of these incidents. 

Number of searches: A 'search' is any organised search for a missing person (or group of people) either at land or on sea. This includes body recovery. This column is the total number of searches conducted.

Number of preventative actions: A 'preventative action' is where a lifeguard identified a potentially dangerous situation and takes precautionary action to prevent the situation from developing into or contributing to a real emergency, for example:

  • Shifting the flagged area during the day due to a change in surf conditions
  • Preventing swimmers from entering a rip or hole
  • Removing broken glass from the beach
  • Checking on a swimmer who may appear to be in difficulty
  • Clearing the beach of swimmers because of a suspected shark sighting
  • Shifting board and ski riders out of the flagged area

Number of safety interventions: a 'safety intervention' is the estimated number of people involved in a preventative action. This column is the total number of these people.