Swimmers at Baylys Beach are disappointed to learn the surf life saving patrols have ended already, after feeling confident and secure having the team on the beach for the season.
“The thing I appreciate about the lifeguards is that you can swim for longer on the outgoing tide and know they are there watching,” said Auckland visitor, Anna Bowman.
“I think it’s great to have the lifeguards here because the ocean is so unpredictable here, and they give us a sense of security and confidence while in the water,” said Tokatoka resident, Alex Martin.
Club captain of Baylys Surf Life Saving, Kyran Gillespie, said there hadn’t been any rescues this season during patrol times. “Our main purpose is to prevent these situations in the first place — so a lot of what we call preventative actions have been made.”
Gillespie advised it is safest to swim on the incoming tide or the first part of the outgoing. The second half of the outgoing tide and low tide are incredibly treacherous some days with bigger rips and strong currents.
“A good rule to remember is ‘If in doubt, don’t go out’ to keep safe.”
If anyone is in trouble, someone should phone 111 and ask for police for assistance. The Te Kopuru Fire Brigade store the inflatable rescue boat (IRB) and will instigate an emergency rescue plan.
When the new community centre and facility is completed, the local lifesaver crew will have a base to call home, and they plan to re-establish the club by applying to become affiliated with the governing body, Surf Life Saving New Zealand. It will enable them to have paid patrols for an extended period of time.
“The facility is vital to our aim of becoming a sustainable club, and be able to operate a fully affiliated surf life saving service,” said Gillespie.