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Kiwis share their rip experiences to support safety message

Four New Zealanders are sharing their real-life rip stories to help spread the new ‘three R’s’ rip safety slogan launched by TSB and Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ) this summer.

The three R’s are Relax and float, Raise your hand and Ride the rip.

The new rip safety education message started on Boxing Day and the easy-to-remember slogan has already started to resonate with Kiwis, says TSB CEO Donna Cooper.

“The three R’s is getting a fantastic response from New Zealanders, who are using the simple safety message to share with family and friends. Now we need to spread this further, so every Kiwi knows how to stay safe when swimming at the beach.”

Tragically, in the last ten years 51 fatalities have been linked to rips.

“We are determined to do what we can to prevent unnecessary deaths at New Zealand beaches,” says SLSNZ CEO Paul Dalton.

“Nobody is stronger than a rip. If you Relax and float, Raise your hand and Ride the rip you’ll have the best chance of getting to safety.”

To help get the message out, four New Zealanders have agreed to share their own experiences on video. They want people to realise the danger of rip currents and to know what to do if you’re caught in one.

“I hope the powerful stories these four New Zealanders have shared about their rip experiences will help Kiwis to understand why they all need to remember the ‘three Rs’,” says Mr Dalton.

From Sunday 10 February the rip story videos will begin popping up on social media feeds across the country.

David Toomey, who features in a video, was swimming at Palm Beach on Waiheke Island in December when he found himself caught in a rip.

“I started to panic and thrash about in the water, I could feel my breath getting shallow and I was getting nowhere. I managed to get to some rocks and recover before walking as far as possible around the rip and swimming back to shore.

“I was completely powerless so I feel lucky I’m still here to tell my story, I hope by sharing this I can help to educate others,” says Mr Toomey.

“If I’d learnt the ‘three Rs’, when I ended up in that rip, I would have known exactly what to do. It’s such a simple message that could save your life.”

TSB is proud to work with SLSNZ to spread this important safety message.

“TSB is a locally owned bank that’s here for New Zealanders, that’s why we want to help keep Kiwis safe in the water,” says Ms Cooper.

“It’s so easy to remind your loved ones of the ‘three R’s’ before they get in the water at one of our beautiful beaches – so please spread the word.”


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