Surf lifeguards in Whanganui and around the country are preparing themselves for what could be the busiest lifesaving season on record as New Zealanders face a summer without the option of overseas holidays.
Covid-19 travel restrictions mean many Kiwis will be planning “staycations” this summer and lifeguards are encouraging beachgoers to familiarise themselves with key safety messages.
Keep yourself and your loved ones safe at the beach by remembering these beach basics:
1. Choose a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags.
2. If caught in a rip, remember the 3Rs – Rip Survival Plan: RELAX and float to conserve energy; RAISE your hand to signal for help; and RIDE the rip until it stops and you can swim back to shore or help arrives.
3. Look for, read and understand the safety signs – ask a surf lifeguard for advice as beach conditions change.
4. Always keep a very close eye on young children in or near the water. Keep children within arm’s reach at all times.
5. Know your limits. Don’t overestimate your ability in the water or your children’s ability to cope in the conditions.
6. Never swim, fish or surf alone.
7. If in doubt, stay out of the water!
8. When fishing from rocks, always wear a lifejacket and shoes with grip and don’t turn your back to the sea.
9. If you see someone in trouble, call 111 and ask for Police as they have a direct line to Surf Life Saving New Zealand.
10. Be sun smart – slip, slop, slap and wrap. Protect your skin and eyes from the sun’s damaging rays.
Let’s be honest.. Whanganui beaches aren’t exactly ‘Piha Rescue’ intense.. but what if there was a TV show about them? Listen below!