Summer Appeal to support lifeguards
Every summer, Surf Life Saving New Zealand’s volunteer lifeguards put themselves in potentially dangerous situations to help keep Kiwis safe while enjoying the beach.
Over the past 10 years, lifeguards have spent over two million hours on patrol, saving over 13,700 lives.
December 1 marked the first day of summer and the annual Surf Life Saving Summer Appeal.
Surf Life Saving New Zealand CEO Paul Dalton says the Summer Appeal is an important time for the essential rescue service.
“Not only does the Summer Appeal allow us to celebrate the remarkable work of our lifeguards but it’s a chance to raise awareness about lifesaving services in general and raise much needed funds to support the 4,500 volunteer lifeguards who will be on duty this summer,” he says.
This year’s appeal tagline highlights some of the key aspects of Surf Life Saving in New Zealand: Bravely, Serving, and Between The Flags.
Mr Dalton says while lifeguards are proud of the number of lives they’ve saved, they’re most proud of the safety record between the flags.
“We may sound like a broken record but when the flags are up, that means lifeguards are on patrol and this is the safest place to swim when you’re enjoying the beach.”
Last season alone, Surf Lifeguards saved 1,517 people from life threatening situations and they’re expecting another huge summer and an especially busy Christmas holiday period.
n Please show your support for volunteers serving between the flags by making a donation this summer at surflifesaving.org.nz.
Busy summer ahead for Mangawhai Heads lifeguards
The Mangawhai Heads Volunteer Lifeguard Service is in full swing with members busy on the beaches. The key message that club wants to get across to the public is to be vigilant on the beaches this summer.
“With the recent tragedy on the Kaipara Harbour we would like to ask that boaties take extra special care when crossing the bar,” said club captain Brad Kehoe. “Marine forecasts for the Mangawhai Coast are readily available and accurate, so know before you go. People also need to make sure they know their own limits in the surf, and always swim between the flags.”
“Every year we (MHVLS) are called on to respond to after hours searches and rescues where boaties get into trouble, and many of these could be avoided if people had a better awareness of thier surroundings," says club executive member Tony Baker.
The SLSNR Lifeguard Service is working at Mangawhai Heads 10am-6pm Monday–Friday until the end of January.
Volunteer lifeguard patrol hours are 11am-5pm weekends.
Mangawhai is also hosting the 25th Annual Lifeguard Longboard Nationals on Saturday February 18.