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New mobile patrol tower for Ocean Beach Surf Life Saving Club

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

A popular swimming spot in Hawke’s Bay will be a lot safer thanks to a recent NZCT grant.

The $6,500 grant will enable the Ocean Beach Surf Life Saving Club to construct a mobile patrol tower in time for summer. Ocean Beach, 30 minutes south of Napier, is the second busiest beach in the lower North Island.

Club Treasurer Bryan Faulknor says that the grant is very important. "Our clubhouse is a considerable distance from the beach and behind sand dunes. The patrol tower will provide elevation so lifeguards can obtain a good view of the swimming public and surrounding areas. It will also provide shelter for the lifeguards in the harsh conditions and being mobile can be shifted to required locations and stored away in winter."

Ocean Beach is extremely popular with growing numbers of beach-goers each year. However, a recent review rated it as one of the 15 most dangerous public beaches in New Zealand.

Last season the club made eight significant rescues where those saved would more than likely have drowned. In addition, club patrols carried out numerous preventative actions which kept the actual number of rescues down. The club’s surf life savers also attend to the public requiring first aid.

Bryan and the rest of the club were very relieved finding out their application to NZCT was successful. "It’s difficult obtaining sponsorship and donations for a small club at a remote beach. Grants from organisations such as NZCT are essential to enable us to carry out our voluntary life guard service to the public.

"We now have all the required funds secured so the mobile tower can be built in time for the summer."

The Ocean Beach Surf Life Saving Club has been keeping swimmers safe at the beach for over 50 years. Approximately 2,500 volunteer hours are provided each summer by the club, primarily by 14-20-year-old students from high school or university.

"NZCT is very supportive of voluntary organisations such as ours," adds Bryan. "We are thankful for their support."

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