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Northern Region Lifeguards Rescue Eight People In Busy First Day Of New Year

Twenty-twenty-one kicked off with large crowds at Surf Life Saving Northern Region’s beaches, where lifeguards were called on to rescue eight people.

At peak, more than 11,000 people were at the Region’s 22 patrolled beaches on New Year’s Day, with guards kept busy on both coasts. The eight rescues were at Piha, Mangawhai Heads and Muriwai beaches. Lifeguards also assisted 18 swimmers before they got into serious difficulty.

SLSNR Lifesaving Manager Ari Peach says lifeguards carried out almost 800 preventative actions during the day involving more than 4,300 beachgoers, and carried out 36 first-aid actions including nine major interventions. In the most serious, two young girls had to be taken to hospital following separate incidents three minutes apart at Piha and Muriwai.

In the Muriwai incident a 14-year-old girl was badly dumped by a wave, while the 13-year-old girl at Piha swallowed a large amount of water and was barely conscious with both patients being taken to hospital by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter.

On the east coast at Omaha, Takapuna, Orewa, Wenderholm and Mangawhai Heads, wayward jetskis proved a problem operating at high speed near swimmers, says Peach. The Maritime Police Unit was informed. Mangawhai guards also went to the aid of a man who incurred neck and head injuries after falling down the dunes.

Late in the day, dangerous surf conditions at Piha led to the flags being taken down says Peach, while lifeguards at Muriwai stayed on an hour past 7pm when the flags were taken down to keep watch on the many swimmers till at the beach. 
 

Safety Messages

  1. Choose a patrolled beach and swim between the flags
  2. Ask a lifeguard for advice
  3. Don't overestimate your ability
  4. Keep young children within arm’s reach at all times
  5. Never swim or surf alone
  6. Watch out for rip currents, they can carry you away from shore
  7. When fishing from rocks, always wear a lifejacket
  8. If in doubt, stay out!
  9. If you see someone in trouble, call 111 and ask for Police
  10. Be sun smart – Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap.

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