Surf lifeguards begin patrol season

Posted by SLSNZ Media on Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Surf Life Saving is officially launching summer this weekend as its surf lifeguards are set to begin patrols on our most popular beaches from Labour Weekend.

Volunteer lifeguards will be out in force from this Saturday. Traditionally, weekend patrols begin at Labour Weekend and continue through to Easter for most areas of the North Island. In other parts of the country, patrols will begin during the next month as the warmer weather arrives.

This season around 4,000 volunteer lifeguards will spend over 200,000 hours keeping a watchful eye on over 80 beaches throughout the country, helping to make them a safer place for Kiwis and their families to enjoy their summer.

During an average season, over 1,200 people are rescued from life-threatening situations. Last year that number was over 1,600.

Surf Life Saving New Zealand CEO Paul Dalton says Surf Life Saving is committed to making our national playground as safe as possible. "The beach is New Zealand's favourite playground but it can also be a dangerous place. Learning about the risks and preparing yourself will mean you can enjoy the sun, sea and sand safely this summer."

Last year, Surf Life Saving New Zealand launched its summer patrol season with an innovative new website that makes finding the right beach easy. Now a year old, Find a Beach has helped numerous Kiwis find the beach that's right for them.

Developed with support from Principal Partner State Insurance, Find a Beach is a live, interactive website that features up-to-the-minute information including weather, swells, hazards and even a rating system for activities such as swimming, fishing, or if a beach is family friendly.

For those who don't like to get caught short, the website has information about what facilities are available - like toilets and changing rooms. The site also includes an interactive element where people can add comments and upload photos onto the site.

The 'My Beaches' section of the website allows users to login and create a collection of their favourite beaches so they can quickly check the weather and water conditions from anywhere.

For more information about Find a Beach visit www.findabeach.co.nz.

Water Safety Tips 

  • Find a beach that is patrolled- be prepared (www.findabeach.co.nz)
  • Listen to the advice of lifeguards
  • Always keep an eye on children in the water
  • Get a friend to swim with you- never swim or surf alone
  • Stay between the flags
  • Watch out for that rip… rips are calm patches of water that can sometimes have waves breaking to the side. Ripple, discoloured or foamy water with debris can also mean there is a rip present.

For more information, please contact:

Lisa Honeybone, Media & Communications Specialist, SLSNZ
Phone 09 303 9335 or 0276 488 823
Email lisa.honeybone@surflifesaving.org.nz

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