A day in the life of a lifeguard

With around 2000 sun and surf seekers a day on Orewa Beach over the peak holiday period, lifeguards have been active there, in the background, providing a safety net.

Orewa Surf Lifesaving chair Faron Turner says that on a typical day, around 15-20 preventative actions are taken to keep beach-goers safe.

This all-important preventative action, which reduces the number of situations that could become urgent, includes helping inexperienced people in small watercraft who are struggling with wind and tide conditions, providing first aid and assisting swimmers.

The lifeguards’ worksheet (which only covers the bigger tasks) for Orewa and Wenderholm on January 12 and 13 makes interesting reading. Faron describes the weekend’s events as “quite typical for summer”. It includes two serious first aid incidents, where hospital treatment was required. One of these was a 15-year-old boy with a dislocated shoulder and the other was a 17-year-old with a deep laceration on his foot, heavily bleeding, from standing on glass, shell or sharp rock. That weekend also saw three searches take place.

Traditionally Anniversary Weekend and Waitangi Day are the busiest for local surf lifesavers.


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