Singer-songwriter and Surf Life Saving ambassador Jamie McDell is encouraging Kiwis to show their support for the organisation's annual Summer Appeal.
Jamie says the appeal is all about raising funds to help keep volunteer lifeguards trained and on patrol this summer. While most people have been craving summer, volunteer lifeguards like Jamie have been busy training for it so they are there to help keep people safe at the beach this summer.
Hailing from the northern surf town of Mangawhai, Jamie never strays far from the sea. Acting as Surf Life Saving's ambassador since November 2012, she has been put through her paces to gain her surf lifeguard qualification and she spends most of her summer patrolling some of the Coromandel's busiest holiday spots.
This season around 4,000 lifeguards will spend over 200,000 hours patrolling 80 of New Zealand's beaches, saving on average 1,200 lives.
Jamie says most people don't realise that Surf Life Saving is a charity, as well as an essential rescue service, that relies on the public. "Even though we are volunteers, there's still a huge range of costs to keep us all trained and equipped with essential lifesaving equipment, she says.
"The signature red and yellow patrol flags are a common site on our beaches but Surf Life Saving needs your support to keep them there. Most Kiwis expect to see lifeguards on our beaches when they visit New Zealand's favourite playground- but what if they weren't there? Please show your appreciation for lifeguards and make a donation during the Summer Appeal so we can be there for you when you need us."
Text the word SURF to 849 to automatically donate $3 or click here to donate online.
While swimming between the flags is a core and well-known message, Surf Life Saving New Zealand also encourages people to adhere to a few simple rules; be prepared, watch out for yourself and others, be aware of the dangers and know your limits.
Lisa Honeybone, Media & Communications Specialist,
Phone 09 303 9335 or 0276 488 823