Over 50 local Otago / Southland members were officially recognised for their hard work and dedication to saving lives on Otago / Southland beaches on Saturday at the 2013 Otago / Southland Surf Life Saving Awards of Excellence.
The celebration of surf lifesaving took place at St Clair Surf Life Saving Club.
The night's top award, Volunteer of the Year, was awarded to James Coombes of the St Clair Surf Life Saving Club.
James Coombes has been a member of the club since 1997 and over the past season has been the Head Coach St Clair SLSC, involved with 35 athletes running 9 - 11 sessions per week from October until March, Patrol Captain, Member of Otago/Southland Local Sport Committee and a member of his club committee.
Surf Life Saving Regional Manager Stu Bryce says it takes a lot of commitment to be a lifeguard and the awards that were presented on Saturday are proof of that.
"James has given up countless hours to reach this level of nomination for Lifeguard of the Year and he truly deserves this recognition."
The night's other top award included Volunteer of the Year and Rescue of the Year.
Surf Lifeguard of the Year was awarded to James Walters from the Brighton Surf Life Saving Club.
Rescue of the Year was awarded to St Clair and St Kilda Clubs. The rescue took place outside the patrol area and involved at the peak, four IRB's and the Rescue helicopter, click here for more information on this rescue.
Mr Bryce says in the past year, members of Otago / Southlands clubs have saved over 50 lives, contributed over 7500 volunteer hours patrolling beaches, and delivered beach safety education to over 4000 kids. "These actions are the expression of our values, and it's the best of those values we celebrate with our awards," he says.
Regional Life Guard of the Year - Sam Arnold - Brighton