Off-Duty Surf Lifeguards Save the Day at Warrington Beach, Bringing Home 2nd Place

Wednesday, 19 May 2021

Press release

May 18, 2021

Off-Duty Surf Lifeguards Save the Day at Warrington Beach, Bringing Home 2nd Place

bp Rescue of the Month March 2021

It was a beautiful late summer day at Otago’s Warrington Beach, where a single Surf Lifeguard carefully watched six people swimming between the flags.

Meanwhile, two off-duty Surf Lifeguards were enjoying the warm weather, surfing and surf skiing nearby.

Suddenly, a young girl became separated from her father as the current pulled her out beyond her depth. The two off-duty Surf Lifeguards noticed her beginning to panic and Rhys Owen (who was using a surfboard) helped the young girl onto his board. However, due to the small size of his board and the large waves, he wasn’t able to paddle back to shore with her safely.

Mark Hastie, who had been paddling his surf ski, rode to shore and grabbed an inflatable rescue boat (IRB) to help with the rescue. Meanwhile, Danielle (the Surf Lifeguard on patrol) radioed the club for backup.

Mark and another Surf Lifeguard, Kayle Harris, launched the IRB and rescued the young girl, delivering her to her (very grateful) father back on shore.

The quick response of these two Surf Lifeguards – who weren’t even on patrol at the time – made a huge difference on the day. They showed quick thinking in a tricky situation and ensured that this family could go home intact after a day at the beach.

bp Head of Country NZ, Matt Elliott says bp is “incredibly proud” to back Surf Lifeguards like Rhys, Mark and the other members of Warrington Surf Life Saving Club.

“bp is immensely proud to have partnered with Surf Life Saving New Zealand since 1968. The skills and bravery of Surf Lifeguards continue to impress our bp team and this rescue is another example of these amazing efforts.”

As the second-place winner of bp Rescue of the Month, Warrington SLSC will be recognised with $300-worth of bp gift vouchers.



  • If you see someone in trouble at the beach CALL 111 & ASK FOR THE POLICE. They have a direct line to both Surf Life Saving New Zealand and Coastguard.
  • Always keep a close eye on young children in or near the water. KEEP CHILDREN WITHIN ARMS’ REACH at all times.
  • IF YOU GET CAUGHT IN A RIP, REMEMBER THE 3RS RIP SURVIVAL PLAN: RELAX and float, RAISE your hand to signal for help and RIDE the rip until it finishes and you can swim to shore or help arrives.




SLSNZ is the national association representing 74 surf lifesaving clubs with 18,000+ members, including more than 4,500 volunteer Surf Lifeguards. Our lifeguards patrol over 90 locations each summer saving hundreds of lives each year and ensuring thousands return home safe after a day at the beach. Our volunteer search and rescue squads provide emergency call-out rescue services throughout the year across Aotearoa.

We do all this as a charity and rely on the generosity of the public, commercial partners, foundations and trusts for donations and financial contributions in order to lead and support our incredible front-line volunteer lifeguarding services.


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021 757 433