Lifeguards at several northern and eastern beaches of New Zealand are involved in their final patrols of the season over the Easter holiday weekend.
Surf Life Saving New Zealand is asking the public to take extra care if they’re visiting a beach without lifeguards on patrol this Easter.
“Although the weather’s cooling down the beach is often a popular destination over Easter,” says Surf Life Saving New Zealand CEO Paul Dalton.
“As many of our lifeguard patrols across the country have already ended you should be aware of any dangers at the beach you’re heading to, don’t overestimate your abilities and if in doubt stay out of the water.
“If you get into trouble call 111 and ask for the Police who can alert a Surf Lifesaving Search & Rescue Squad.”
Beachgoers can go to www.safeswim.org.nz to find out which beaches are patrolled and when lifeguards are on duty. The site also provides information on the hazards at a beach, such as strong wind or currents, to help plan a safe day out.
Beach Safety Messages:
· Where possible, choose a lifeguarded beach and swim between the flags. As the patrol season winds down check before you go if the beach is going to be patrolled, and take that into account in your planning
· Read and understand the safety signs – and if surf lifeguards are on patrol ask them 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.
Easter Weekend Surf Lifesaving Patrols:
Hot Water Beach
Mangawhai Heads (Ocean Beach)
United North Piha
Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service have also posted to their Facebook page that their lifeguards " are out in force today, keeping an eye on beach-goers and also helping out with our Easter appeal". The public is invited to help support the Mount Maunganui service through making a donation here.