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Surf Life Saving Northern Region - Boxing Day summary

Another busy day for lifeguards in the Northern Region with up to 13 lives saved and 30 people given first aid. Lifeguards also performed more than 800 preventative actions involving more than 3500 people.

A number of incidents involved people on inflatables being blown out to sea. This is a constant risk particularly when offshore winds are blowing and SLSNR would recommend taking great care and extra vigilance around the use of such flotation devices, which are a popular Christmas present, especially by young children who can very quickly be pushed out of their depth.

Raglan lifeguards provided first aid to two bodysurfers who knocked heads in the waves. One patient had limited feeling in her legs, back and arms and was treated for suspected spinal injuries before being taken to Waikato Hospital via St John Ambulance. The other patient had a wound to the head and was referred to a medical centre to get stitches. They also gave first aid to two other people with unrelated minor injuries.

Whangarei Heads lifeguards rescued a surfer who lost his board near the rocks at Ocean Beach. The Bream Bay rescue jet ski was at the beach and assisted the man to shore.

Ruakaka rescued a swimmer who was sucked out in a rip near the flags and was returned to shore by one of the lifeguards who performed a tube rescue. Another two surfers were assisted to shore by the IRB as they were struggling to return to shore.

Waipu Cove rescued a swimmer who was sucked out in a rip and couldn’t get back to shore. They also provided first aid to a patient with minor cuts.

Omaha assisted four people to shore who were being blown out to sea on an inflatable pontoon. They also provided First Aid to two patients with minor cuts.

Orewa launched a land-based search for a man reported missing at the beach in the afternoon. He was later found safe and well. Orewa lifeguards also performed eight minor first aids for people who cut themselves on shells.

Long Bay lifeguards assisted a heavily intoxicated woman who got into distress in deep water. The North Shore rescue jet ski was nearby and assisted the woman to shore. Lifeguards also rescued two teenage girls who were blown out to sea on an inflatable sheep. The most exhausted was brought in by one of the lifeguards on a rescue board and the other with a rescue tube.

Muriwai assisted a child who was knocked off his feet into deeper water and was a brought to a more safer depth. They also gave first aid to a person with a blood nose and a person who was stung by a jellyfish. Bethells and Karekare also had a number of minor first aids from bluebottles and other types of jellyfish in the water. Safeswim has been updated with warnings.

At Kariaotahi, a flash-rip opened up near the flags and three people were sucked out to sea. Two of them made it back to shore but the IRB picked up the last patient who was then brought safely to shore.

Mangawhai Heads (2), Pakiri (3), Red Beach (1) and Takapuna (2) also had a number of minor first aid incidents.

Boxing Day Statistics (26/12/2019)

No. of people rescued6
No. of people assisted7
No. of major 1st aids2
No. of minor 1st aids28
No. of searches1
No. of PA's814
No. of Public Involved3564
Peak headcount7312
Total hours worked710

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