Beach Safety This Waitangi Weekend: “Leave With Nothing But Happy Memories”
Surf Lifeguards are encouraging Kiwis to familiarise themselves with “beach basics” before heading to the coast this long weekend.
Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ) Chief Executive and Titahi Bay Surf Lifeguard, Paul Dalton, says that while Surf Lifeguards are trained to conduct rescues, prevention is the most important tool when it comes to saving lives.
“There are some key things that all of us should keep in mind when we visit the beach, even if it’s your favourite local spot,” says Dalton.
“Not all beaches are actively patrolled by Surf Lifeguards – and coastal conditions are constantly in flux. We’re looking forward to a warm, sunny long weekend across most of the country and, as Surf Lifeguards, we want everyone to leave the beach with nothing but happy memories.”
Dalton recommends that anyone planning to hit the beach this Waitangi weekend takes a moment to familiarise themselves with SLSNZ’s 10 Beach Basics:
SLSNZ Beach Basics
- Choose a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red & yellow flags.
- If you get caught in a rip current, remember the 3Rs: RELAX & float; RAISE your hand to signal for help; RIDE the rip until it stops and you can swim back to shore or help arrives.
- Talk to the Surf Lifeguards: Ask a Surf Lifeguard for advice, as beach conditions change.
- Always keep a very close eye on young children in or near the water. Keep children within arm’s reach at all times.
- Know your limits: Don’t overestimate your ability in the water or your children’s ability to cope in the conditions.
- Get a friend to swim with you – never swim or surf alone.
- If in doubt, stay out of the water.
- When fishing from rocks, never turn your back to the sea & always wear a lifejacket.
- If you see someone in trouble, call 111 & ask for the Police. They have a direct line to Surf Lifeguards.
- Be sun smart. Slip, slop, slap & wrap. Protect your skin and eyes from the sun’s damaging rays.