News

Weekend Wrap: Surf Lifeguards Kept Busy With 300 Preventative Actions

Monday, 4 December 2023

Surf lifeguards were kept busy during the first weekend of summer, carrying out over 300 preventative actions to ensure beachgoers were kept safe.

Preventative actions epitomise the proactive approach of surf lifeguards, as they anticipate, minimise, and eliminate potential risks and hazards to prevent things from escalating to something more serious.

Steve Fisher, Surf Life Saving New Zealand CEO, said, “These actions are crucial in ensuring the safety or beachgoers.  It requires surf lifeguards to stay vigilant as they constantly scan the beach, educate beachgoers, prepare for any scenario, and proactively intervene when needed.”

During the weekend, four people were rescued: one in the Northern Region, one in the Eastern Region, and two in the Southern Region.   That brings the total number of people rescued during the 2023/2024 season so far to 46.

Fisher said, “Thanks to our dedicated surf lifeguards carrying out so many preventative actions, beachgoers appear to be taking onboard our beach and coastal safety messages.  One of the most important messages we’re trying to encourage is going to safeswim.org.nz to find a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags.”

Looking ahead, Metservice is forecasting varied weather during the first few weeks of summer, with rain and yo-yoing temperatures in some places.  However, a shift towards drier, warmer, more beach-friendly weather is forecasted for this week. 

Fisher said, “As summer progresses, we’re expecting a surge in people as we know how appealing the beach is when the sun is shining.  We urge everyone to put safety first and exercise caution before heading in.  Remember, if in doubt, stay out, and always keep children within arm’s reach in or near the water.”

 

Northern Region:

 

2 December, 2023

3 December, 2023

No. of people rescued

1

0

No. of people assisted

1

0

No. of major first aids

0

0

No. of minor first aids

3

2

No. of searches

1

0

No. of preventatives

67

32

No. of people involved

454

174

Peak head count

620

620

Hours on patrol

993

1027

Eastern Region:

 

2 December, 2023

3 December, 2023

No. of people rescued

1

0

No. of people assisted

0

1

No. of major first aids

0

1

No. of minor first aids

2

1

No. of searches

0

0

No. of preventatives

31

21

No. of people involved

241

216

Peak head count

1017

480

Hours on patrol

636

733

Central Region:

 

2 December, 2023

3 December, 2023

No. of people rescued

0

0

No. of people assisted

0

2

No. of major first aids

0

0

No. of minor first aids

1

0

No. of searches

0

0

No. of preventatives 

26

22

No. of people involved

244

268

Peak head count

125

92

Hours on patrol

519

489

Southern Region:

 

2 December, 2023

3 December, 2023

No. of people rescued

0

2

No. of people assisted

0

0

No. of major first aids

0

0

No. of minor first aids

1

0

No. of searches

0

0

No. of preventatives

25

77

No. of people involved

167

635

Peak head count

135

294

Hours on patrol

566

611

 

SLSNZ Beach and Coastal Safety Messages

  1. Know How To Float

If you don’t know how to float, don’t go into the water. Just being able to float when you are in the water can increase your chance of survival. Floating allows you to calm yourself and keep your airways out of the water. Practice or get some lessons in the pool before you head to the beach.

 

  1. Find The Safest Place To Swim

Check safeswim.org.nz to find a lifeguarded beach, and always swim between the red and yellow flags.

 

  1. If In Doubt, Stay Out

Waves can be bigger than they look, and weather conditions can change quickly. If you feel uncomfortable about getting into the water, stay out.

 

  1. Take Care of Others

Always keep children within arm’s reach in or near the water. Waves can move quickly and unexpectedly and can knock kids off their feet and sweep them away.

 

  1. Know How to Get Help

If someone in the water is in trouble and surf lifeguards are on patrol, let them know. If you can’t see any surf lifeguards, call 111 and ask for police. If you’re in the water and in trouble yourself, signal for help.