A few swimmers are braving the local beaches and Orewa Surf Lifesaving Club started patrolling at Labour Weekend.
Red Beach Surf Club volunteers begin patrolling on November 30 at Red Beach and at Pakiri on December 21.
In recent weeks, Red Beach had its ranks boosted when 35 members gained the Surf Lifeguard qualification, which makes them eligible to join the club’s existing lifeguards on the two beaches it patrols.
To cope with the growing membership, the club has five newly qualified instructors for Surf Lifeguard and IRB awards.
Registrations are still being taken for Juniors, aged 4-13. Training sessions for the youngsters are held at Red Beach on Sunday mornings.
On the competition scene, activity is ramping up with a string of surf carnivals taking place before Christmas. In January, the club will host the 64th Owen Chapman Cup carnival.
When the club’s renovated clubrooms were opened 12 months ago by Auckland Mayor Phil Goff, the project was 95 percent complete. Work is expected to be fully completed by Christmas.
The red and yellow flags went up at Orewa Beach on October 26 and patrols continue until April 13, from 11am until 6pm. Volunteers also patrol at Wenderholm Regional Park from December 14 to January 19, 11am until 6pm.
Orewa Surf Lifesaving chair Faron Turner advises looking at the tides when planning a trip to the beach as there is always a risk of being dragged out to sea with the outgoing tidal flow swimming close to rivers, streams and estuaries at Wenderholm, Waiwera and Orewa, especially for the three hours after high tide.
“Also stay safe when using craft like SUPs, surfboards, kayaks, boogie boards and other inflatable toys or beach balls when there are offshore winds blowing as you can be easily pushed out of your depth and require assistance back to safety on shore,” he says.
If you spot someone in trouble in the water dial 111, ask for Police and state that it is a ‘water emergency’ and they will activate the Surf Lifesaving emergency callout squads along with other appropriate emergency services such as St Johns or Coastguard.