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Summer week-day surf patrols start

Summer week-day surf patrols start

Week-day surf patrols will start at Muriwai and Piha beaches next Monday (3 December) as Surf Life Saving Northern Region (SLSNR) steps up its activity to meet the influx of sun, surf and beach worshippers.

Voluntary weekend patrols have been underway on the 22 beaches patrolled by the 17 northern region clubs since Labour weekend. Those beaches stretch from Raglan in the south up the west coast to Cape Reinga and then down the east coast to the beaches on Auckland’s north shore.

SLSNR Chief executive Officer Matt Williams says week-day patrols will also start at Bethells, North Piha and Raglan on December 10 and by December 17 most beaches in the region will be covered seven days a week.

“But it wouldn’t happen without our local authority funders. The support of the Waikato Regional Council, Auckland Council and Northland Regional Council makes it possible to put paid lifeguards on all our beaches during the week over the peak of the summer school holidays.”

Williams says without the ongoing and increased support of the three councils, surf lifesaving could not provide the level of patrols the growing number of visitors to beaches now requires.

Auckland Council Waitakere Ward Councillor Linda Cooper says the surf lifesaving service is vital for the region. “Often in remote coastal areas, our wonderful surf lifesavers are on the spot, ready and able to save lives.”

Northland Regional Council Chairman Bill Shepherd says: “We’re proud to support the lifeguards keeping people safe on some of our most popular beaches. People flock to our incredible coast during summer and it’s reassuring to have professionals onsite and ready to save lives that are in immediate or critical danger”.
Williams says patrolling starts between 10 and 11am and continues until 6.30 or 7pm, depending on the beach.

Weekend patrols are carried out by club volunteers over similar time-frames.

Although they do not have local surf lifesaving facilities, or surf clubs based at their locations, Baylys Beach, Pakiri Beach, Wenderholm, Long Bay and Takapuna Beach all have paid lifeguards on patrol from 17 December, with most beaches patrolled daily until the end of January.

Lifeguards continue on duty all week at the most popular beaches until late February, while weekend patrols staffed by volunteers will continue until the Easter long weekend – April 19 to 22.

Williams says lifeguards are totally committed to one objective: “to keep beachgoers safe while they enjoy their time in the water.

“Swim between the flags might have become a time-worn phrase, but it’s still the best way to ensure you enjoy your time in the water. It continues to be the safest and most enjoyable place on the beach, so it’s little wonder we are reiterating to the public – join us and enjoy your summer at the beach.”

Last season, SLSNR patrol staff made 427 rescues, gave 1009 first aid treatments, took part in 139 searches and carried out 43,240 preventive actions involving 128,348 people before they developed into incidents requiring a rescue. No drownings occurred during patrolled hours in the season.

SLSNR volunteers put in 88,540 hours of patrolling duty over that time.

Details on patrol days and times can be found on https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/embed?mid=1AjHOj0IKlPlbr9uPS5vfvdDkeJ2zeT0d by clicking on the relevant beach.


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