The signature red and yellow patrol flags are a common sight on New Zealand's beaches and Surf Lifeguards are calling on the public to help keep them there this summer.
Surf Life Saving New Zealand is an essential rescue service as well as a charity that relies on the support of the community and its partners to continue its work of keeping Kiwis safe on our beaches every season.
The annual Summer Appeal will launch on December 1 and run through to February 28, 2015 allowing its 74 clubs nationwide to undertake fundraisers and activities across the busy summer season.
Surf Life Saving New Zealand CEO Paul Dalton says sunshine, summer holidays, the beach and Surf Lifeguards are a recipe for the classic Kiwi summer. "The signature red and yellow patrol flags are a common sight on our beaches and most people expect to see lifeguards when they visit New Zealand's favourite playground- but what if they weren't there? he says.
"Please show your appreciation for our volunteer lifeguards and make a donation during the Summer Appeal so we can be there for you when you need us."
Lifeguards and their supporters will be out in their distinctive red and yellow uniforms around the country throughout the months of December-February, raising money to help save lives on over 80 of New Zealand's favourite beaches this summer.
Donations go to Surf Life Saving Clubs throughout the country allowing them to train more lifeguards, increase patrols and buy essential equipment to help save lives and prevent injuries. If you don't see a collector in your area, donations can be made by texting SURF to 849 to automatically donate $3 or click here to make an online donation.
Volunteer lifeguards commenced patrolling at Labour Weekend in the Northern parts of the North Island and in other parts of the country, patrols are rolling out as the warmer weather arrives.
This summer, volunteer lifeguards will spend over 200,000 hours keeping a watchful eye on over 80 beaches throughout the country. During an average summer, around 1,200 people are rescued from life threatening situations.
While swimming between the flags is a 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. For more information and safety tips, please click here.
The Surf Life Saving Summer Appeal runs over the 13 weeks from December 1, 2014 to February 28, 2015.
Lifeguards in the Northern Region (who patrol 17 clubs from the Far North to Raglan) will be out on the streets collecting on December 5 and 6.
In the Hawkes Bay, collections will take place from December 4-6 and in Christchurch, Tasman and Dunedin lifeguards will be out collecting on December 5. The Bay of Plenty and Wellington areas will be collecting on December 12 while the Coromandel will hold various collection activities throughout the Christmas holidays.
People are encouraged to keep an eye out for collectors in their area or contact their local Surf Life Saving Club to find out how to get involved. They can also text the word 'SURF' to 849 to make an instant $3 donation or make an online donation here.
Lisa Honeybone, Media & Communications Specialist,
Phone 09 303 9335 or 0276 488 823