Mixed Bag For Surf Lifeguards Across The Country As Beachgoers Make The Most Of Sun During Holiday Period
It was a mixed bag for surf lifeguards across the country this weekend, with wet weather in some parts of the country keeping beachgoers away on Saturday, while warm and sunny weather of Sunday saw a surge in beach activity – and rescues.
Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ) Chief Operations Officer Chris Emmett says that nationally, 22 rescues were performed by surf lifeguards, with 18 rescues on Sunday. Similarly, of the 44 assists performed by surf lifeguards over the weekend, 42 of those were performed on Sunday.
“Our surf lifeguards continue to perform incredibly well this season, dealing with a huge numbers of beachgoers as people make the most of warm weather and sunny skies before they return to work,” he says.
“Beachgoers have on the whole been well-behaved, but we encourage the public to check www.safeswim.org.nz to find a lifeguarded beach, and always swim between the red and yellow flags, which show the safest place to swim.”
Several noteworthy incidents occurred across the weekend. On Sunday on the east coast of the Northern Region, surf lifeguards at Ōmaha were kept busy with huge numbers of beach goers. At 4pm, the club reported 1,400 beach users, the highest in the Northern Region. Similar numbers were seen at Oriental Bay, with Maranui Surf Life Saving Club surf lifeguards patrolling there reporting 1,300 beach users at 3pm, while Mt Maunganui surf lifeguards had the busiest day in the Eastern Region, at one point having over 1,400 people on their stretch of the beach. Taylors Mistake reported Southern Region’s highest beach numbers for the day, with a peak headcount of 618 people at 2pm.
Surf lifeguards at Bethells Beach on Auckland’s west coast (Northern Region), treated nine swimmers for blue bottle stings on Sunday, while also being involved in a search following an unsubstantiated report of three people trapped on rocks between Bethells Beach and Muriwai. Pāpāmoa lifeguards (Eastern Region) assisted 20 people back to shore throughout their patrol as strong currents caused many swimmers to need a hand, while Waihī (Eastern Region) assisted two people out of a rip by picking them up in an Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB).
Further south, and surf lifeguards at Foxton quickly responded to a rescue as patrol was finishing for the day. Surf lifeguards also performed notable rescues at Raglan, South Brighton, and Brighton.