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Holiday Period Warning Beacon

Holiday Period Warning Beacon

Water Safety New Zealand (WSNZ) has pleaded for common sense and caution when it comes to water based activities throughout the holiday period.

Executive Director of Water Safety New Zealand, Alan Muir said that over the past 10 years, on average 11 people have drowned during the official holiday period. This years holiday period runs from 4pm Xmas eve until 8am on 5 January.

"The holiday atmosphere, a focus on fun and festivities at this time of year are a lethal combination. Water and alcohol certainly don't mix".

Drowning that occurs as a result of recreational activity is almost always avoidable and is such a waste of life. Over the past 10 years 69 (62%) of the 112 holiday period drownings have been recreational. Most of these have been swimming, underwater, boating and fishing activities. The remaining 43 (38%) have been in non-recreational activities (where the victim had no intention of being in the water) so everybody is at risk regardless.

The messages are simple and clear, and generally people have been heeding them.

"Just a few of them are; prepare well for any outing around an aquatic environment, check the weather and water conditions before you go, swim in safe places, like between the flags at beaches, check river depth and speed of the current, take appropriate safety equipment and never swim alone" said Mr Muir.

For more information on what to do when in, on or under the water this summer visit one of the following websites:,, or

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