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75 Years Of Saving Lives On Our Beaches


MEDIA RELEASE:                                                  25 March 2008


75 Years Of Saving Lives On Our Beaches

Next month, Surf Life Saving will celebrate 75 years of organised club activity in the northern region.

Surf Life Saving Northern Region was formally established on 4 March 1933, as the Auckland Surf Association with 9 clubs – Waipu Cove, Eastern United (Browns Bay), Milford, Milford Girls, North Shore, North Shore Girls, Ponsonby, Takapuna and Waitemata. Of these only Waipu Cove still exists in its original form.

Although, the first responsibility was to man the beaches and protect the public, competitions have always been a big part of club life. The first such took place in February 1930 at Milford Beach, under the auspices of the Royal Life Saving Society. The contest for the J.S. Hill Silver Cup involved three disciplines: the rescue of persons threatened by drowning, the release of grips taken by struggling swimmers, and the resuscitation of the apparently drowned.

Today, Surf Life Saving Northern Region is a volunteer based organisation providing surf rescue patrols at twenty one beaches from Raglan in the South to Ahipara (Kaitaia) in the North. It is responsible for supporting the operations of its 17 volunteer surf lifesaving clubs and 4,000 plus volunteer members, and is the biggest and busiest of the country’s nine regions

Volunteer members from the 17 clubs within Surf Life Saving Northern Region’s boundaries, last season spent just on 70,000 hours on patrols, performing 647 rescues and 95,787 interventions – where swimmers are alerted to potential dangers or given beach safety advice.

SLSNR CEO, Steve Johns says that the anniversary is a wonderful chance for clubbies to reminisce. “Going to the beach is taken for granted as part of our way of life, and Surf Life Saving Clubs are a huge part of that. Over 75 years, there have been literally thousands of volunteers who have been members of clubs and have learnt swimming and life saving skills and who have saved the lives of tens of thousands of people during this time. This is a chance for us to say thank you and for them to remember and share their stories and memories.”

The anniversary will be celebrated over the weekend of 11 to 13 April. With social functions and a jubilee dinner and on the Saturday the delegates will get to see the next generation of Life Guards taking part in the annual Rookie Challenge at Mairangi Bay.

To register for the 75th Anniversary, contact  Merran Brockie on 303 9331 or email  or visit to down load a registration form.




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