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Lifeguards reflect on record season

Surf Life Saving New Zealand

Press Release
Wednesday 14th September

Lifeguards reflect on record season

Surf Life Saving New Zealand is celebrating a record season on New Zealand beaches at the BP Surf Rescue Awards to be held in Wellington on Friday night.

The awards are an opportunity to celebrate twelve months of achievement in Surf Life Saving around the country. It is also an opportunity for Surf Life Saving to thank the media for the role they play in preventing drowning and injury at New Zealand beaches.

“Surf Lifeguards in New Zealand saved more lives this summer than ever before,” says Geoff Barry, Chief Executive of Surf Life Saving New Zealand. “Without lifeguards on our beaches, over 2000 lives would have been lost; the BP Surf Rescue Awards are about recognising the achievements of our membership and the work they do to provide an essential proactive community service.”

Four major awards will be presented to lifeguards from around the country and to the media. The pinnacle awards of the evening are the New Zealand Lottery Grants (NZLGB) Lifeguard of the Year and the BP Surf Rescue of the Year won last year by a group of Gisborne surf lifeguards who overturned a sinking van in a river to rescue the trapped occupants inside.

As well as recognising the achievements of New Zealand’s surf lifeguards, the night is a chance to recognise the role of the media in capturing the moments which define our country’s lifeguards through the Best Surf Life Saving Photo in Print and the Best Surf Life Saving Story in Print

The BP Surf Rescue Awards will kick off a weekend of celebrations for Surf Life Saving, with the organisations AGM to be held on Saturday morning, followed by the DHL In it for life Awards, a celebration of the service given to Surf Life Saving by individuals with the awarding of long term service awards and three life memberships.

The 2005 Awards weekend is truly embracing the In it for life principle of Surf Life Saving by bringing Surf Life Saving New Zealand’s Life Members together in Wellington for the first time. The 36 Life Members and their partners will be guests at a special luncheon on Friday afternoon, honouring the accumulative 3000 years of service which they have given to Surf Life Saving.

“The number of years of service which these woman and men have given to their communities and Surf Life Saving is phenomenal”, says Barry. “Some of the oldest Life Members began saving lives on New Zealand beaches in 1929.”

Several Life Members are to be interviewed by well known New Zealand personality and Waitakere City Mayor Bob Harvey, a Life Member of Surf Life Saving New Zealand since 1998. The interviews will be filmed, preserving the memoirs of some New Zealand’s oldest lifeguards to be later made into a documentary for television.

“The weekend of awards is a great opportunity to acknowledge all of our volunteer members and especially our life members who have been a vital part of Surf Life Saving’s development and growth into the essential service which it is today.”

ENDS

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