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Northern Lifeguards Urge Beachgoers To Expect Eastern Beach Closures This Weekend As Tropical Cyclone Cody Approaches

Surf Life Saving Northern Region (SLSNR) is urging the beach-going public to take much greater care this weekend on north-eastern beaches and prepare for closures as category 1 Tropical Cyclone Cody nears.

The cyclone is expected to reach New Zealand shores on Sunday, with advance swells surging from as early as this afternoon that will bring waves over 6m at some eastern coastal locations.

Forecasters are yet to confirm where the cyclone will make landfall, and SLSNR Lifesaving Operations Manager James Lea is warning beachgoers and holiday-makers to remain vigilant as large waves and strong rip currents create dangerous swimming conditions at many east coast beaches.

“With forecasted strong winds and a lot of energy pushing into eastern beaches this weekend, it will be extremely important to maintain your safety and safety of others this weekend. Strong surf and large waves will create strong currents,” says Lea.

“There will be a lot of water moving which would easily knock you off your feet. Keep a close eye on young children – be able to reach them quickly, see them at all times and stay well away from the water,” he warns.

“We also ask that storm-spectators and rock-fishers take extra care if spending any time on the rocks this weekend. Large swells can easily knock you off and into the dangerous water.

“Some beaches may become dangerous enough by Sunday and Monday that closures may be necessary, so before you head out make sure to monitor the Safeswim site for updates and only choose patrolled beaches for swimming or other water activities including rock-fishing.

“Safeswim will give the best times for swimming, the conditions and any hazards, as well the water quality and any potential closures.”

Lea says SLSNR clubs will be closely monitoring the cyclone and water conditions from Friday, through the weekend and into the following week.

“If our lifeguards do not put up red and yellow flags and instead display “No Swimming” signs and red flags, please respect that the water is too dangerous for recreational activities,” he says.

“With talk of large swells already speculated in the media, we urge surfers in particular to not overestimate their abilities and underestimate the environment as the cyclone progresses through next week.

“We have already experienced an alarming number of fatalities at New Zealand beaches and inland waterways this summer, so we implore Kiwis to take great care this weekend in the wild weather and be sure to return home safe.”

2022 Beach Safety Messages

  • Choose a lifeguarded beach and swim between the flags
  • Read and understand the safety signs – ask a surf lifeguard for advice as conditions can change regularly
  • Don’t overestimate your ability or your children’s ability to cope in the conditions
  • Always keep a close eye on very young children in or near the water – always keep them within arm’s reach
  • Get a friend to swim with you – never swim or surf alone
  • Watch out for rip currents, they can carry you away from shore. If caught in a rip current remember the 3Rs: *Relax and float, *Raise your hand and *Ride the rip
  • Be smart around rocks: When fishing never turn your back towards the sea and always wear a lifejacket
  • If in doubt, stay out!
  • If you see someone in trouble, call 111 and ask for the Police
  • Be sun smart – slip, slop, slap and wrap to protect your skin and eyes from the sun’s damaging rays.

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