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Lifeguards make 26 rescues on the West Coast

Media Release
10 March 2008

Lifeguards make 26 rescues on the West Coast

The stunning weather over the weekend made for busy beaches – and busy lifeguards - with volunteer surf lifeguards making 26 rescues on Auckland’s West Coast alone.

These statistics include 5 rescues at North Piha, 11 rescues at South Piha, 7 rescues at Karekare and 3 rescues at Kariaotahi.

Kariaotahi lifeguards were kept especially busy on Saturday when a group of swimmers were swimming in a dangerous rip current 1km from the flags.

Despite lifeguard warnings, and requests on two occasions to not swim in the dangerous area, the group continued to swim in the rip. Consequently two males in the group were later rescued by lifeguards and were airlifted to Auckland Hospital by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter.

Kariaotahi Head of Lifesaving, Mike Lawrence, said the boys were “inches away from drowning.”

Surf Life Saving Northern Region Lifesaving Manager, Dean Storey, says the weekend’s lifeguard statistics showcased the continued stellar efforts of volunteer lifeguards.

“The near drownings at Kariaotahi highlight the importance of swimming between the flags at lifeguard patrolled beaches.

“Beachgoers should not underestimate the risks of swimming on either the east or west coast beaches and should always listen to the advice of lifeguards.”

“Without these committed volunteers working tirelessly from October to April each year, the drowning statistics would be unimaginable.”

Lifeguards across the Northern Region will continue to patrol weekends and public holidays until Sunday 6 April 2008.

For more information on Surf Life Saving Northern Region visit: www.lifesaving.org.nz

ENDS

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