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 however in other parts of the country patrols will begin during the next month as the warmer weather arrives.
BOP beaches are being assessed on a daily basis due to the oil spill from the stricken Rena. No swimming is permitted from Mount Maunganui beach to Maketu and Surf Life Saving patrols will not commence on Mt Maunganui, Omanu, Papamoa or Maketu beaches until further notice. Swimming, beach conditions and patrols will be dependent on whether Rena releases more oil – for the latest update on beach conditions please go to www.maritimenz.govt.nz.
Canterbury beaches that were significantly affected by the February 22 earthquake are now all open and set to begin patrols as normal. Volunteer Surf Lifeguards will begin patrolling Canterbury beaches on November 19 and will run through until March 11. Patrols will commence as normal on Taylors Mistake, Sumner, South Brighton, New Brighton, North Beach, Waimairi, Spencer Park and Waikuku beaches. Regional guards will begin weekday patrols from December 19 through to February 24 and will also include patrols at Pines beach and Woodend. All Christchurch Surf Life Saving clubs will be up and running including Sumner which was demolished earlier in the year due to the earthquake but will operate out of a modified cargo container.
“Surf Life Saving is committed to making our favourite 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 favourite playground safer for everyone – and we strongly encourage beach-goers to know the basic safety rules before they hit the beach.” says Pat Waite, CE Surf Life Saving New Zealand.
Last season over 3,500 volunteer Surf Lifeguards put in over 199,000 hours and made over 1300 rescues to make our beaches a safer place. As the warmer weather looms it’s important to remember basic beach safety.
Basic Beach Safety Rules
Learn to swim and survive and set rules for safe play in the water. Always use safe and correct equipment and know the weather and water conditions before you get in.
Watch out for yourself and others
Always pay close attention to children you are supervising, in or near water. Swim with others and in areas where lifeguards are present.
Be aware of the dangers
Enter shallow and unknown water feet first and obey all safety signs and warning flags. Do not enter the water after drinking alcohol.
Know your limits
Challenge yourself within your physical limits and experience. Learn safe ways of rescuing others without putting yourself in danger.
For more information and local beach patrol times go to: www.surflifesaving.org.nz/patrols