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Surf lifeguards continue to keep beaches safe in lead-up to Christmas – SLSNZ

Bluebottles and burned feet over weekend as surf lifeguards continue to keep beaches safe in lead-up to Christmas

The following are appendixes to this media release:

§ Aggregated Patrol Statistics (national)

§ Weekend Patrol Statistics (individual regions):

o Northern Region

o Eastern Region

o Central Region

o Southern Region

§ 2023-2024 Season Beach Safety Messages from SLSNZ

Several incidents kept surf lifeguards busy across the country over the weekend, as people begin to move into holiday mode. Nationally, surf lifeguards rescued over eight people from potentially life-threatening situations, including being stuck in strong rip currents.

Over the weekend, surf lifeguards spent more than 6,800 hours volunteering to keep thousands of swimmers and beachgoers safe, performing more than 550 preventative actions.

Steve Fisher, SLSNZ CEO, says that one of Surf Life Saving’s core objectives is to intervene early and stop a situation from escalating. He highlighted several incidents from over the weekend of people being caught in rip currents and not knowing what to do.

“We saw several incidents in which beginner surfers and swimmers were caught in rips. Overall, people were well-behaved and aware of the many dangers around our coastlines. We are glad that our safety messages are getting through and our surf lifeguards continue to remain vigilant, but we want to remind people that the safest place to swim at the beach is between the red and yellow flags,” he says.

“Surf lifeguards were also kept busy with first aids, including more than 40 performed in just a single day at Raglan – many of those a result of blue bottle stings. There are many hazards at the beach and in the water that aren’t related to ocean conditions. Things like hot sand and blue bottles are common over the summer months.

“While encounters with blue bottles and hot sand are generally not life-threatening, they can be extremely painful. We encourage beachgoers to stay informed and check the Safe Swim website before heading to the beach, for both conditions and any hazards that may be present,” says Steve Fisher.


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