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Surf Lifeguards begin patrol season


News Release

23 October 2009


Surf Lifeguards begin patrol season

Surf Lifeguards are set to begin patrols on our most popular beaches from Labour Weekend as the weather starts to warm up. 

Traditionally, weekend patrols begin Labour weekend and continue through to Easter for most areas of the North Island. In other parts of the country patrols will begin during the next month as the warmer weather arrives. 

Each season over 3,500 lifeguards volunteer to make our beaches a safer place.  As the country’s hotspots begin to swell during school holidays – patrols are increased to seven days a week at our most populated beaches.


“Surf Life Saving is committed to making our national playground as safe as possible.   New Zealand has over 16,000kms of coastline - and 3,500 volunteer Lifeguards patrol over 80 of our most popular beaches.  It’s about making our most popular playground safer for everyone – and we strongly encourage beach-goers to know the basic safety rules before they hit the beach.” says Geoff Barry, CEO Surf Life Saving New Zealand.

Swim between the flags:
At a patrolled beach Surf Lifeguards have checked the conditions and put the red and yellow flags in the safest place to swim or play.

Be smart around rocks:
Whether fishing or exploring at the beach, rocky outcrops can be very dangerous in large surf.  Don’t think the water will wash around you as moving water is always powerful.  Never stand on a rock outcrop that is wet – a sure sign waves will be washing over it.  Always face the sea, never turn your back to it, and always have a clear escape path to safe ground.

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Never swim or surf alone:
When you head into the water, you need to make sure that you have someone with you so you can help each other keep safe in the surf.

Always be aware around moving water:
Moving water is always a risk whether it’s at a surf beach or not.    Water is pushed into the beach by waves and has to find a way back; the drag can catch people unaware even in relatively shallow water.

For more information and local beach patrol times go to:
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