Public ignore warnings on Karioitahi Beach

Local lifeguards at Karioitahi beach doing a practice run last weekend

Local lifeguards at Karioitahi beach doing a practice run last weekend

1500 – 2000 people descended on Karioitahi Beach on Auckland Anniversary day.

Auckland Anniversary weekend saw people flock to the beach to escape the high humidity and cool the warm calm conditions at Karioitahi Surf Beach, with numbers estimated between 1500 to 2000 people.
However, with the calm conditions also came the hidden perils of unseen rip currents. Lifeguards at Karioitahi were kept busy on Monday, with 18 rescues being performed. This turned out to the busiest day they have had since the lifeguard season started.
“We warned several groups three or four times that they were swimming in dangerous places on the beach but they knew better and decided to ignore us. In the end, we ended up rescuing members from each of the groups. It is frustrating,” says club president, Jim Coe.
“People need to understand that we are trying to help them and make their swimming safe. Lifeguards on Sunday evening were alerted to three swimmers in trouble and raced to their aid successfully rescuing all three; this was at 7.30pm in the evening. If lifeguards had not been there it would have resulted in a tragedy.”
With the conditions to remain relatively calm over the next week, Jim would like to remind beach goers need to respect the conditions and heed the warnings. “The beach can be a dangerous place.” explains Jim.
With a large majority of the weekday patrols wrapping up around the country, Surf Life Saving New Zealand is urging beachgoers to take responsibility for their own safety. National lifesaving manager Allan Mundy says that means paid lifeguards won’t be out on patrol on most beaches from Monday to Friday.
“It’s important that they have their senses switched on and exercise some caution when heading out into the water. People need to take care and understand what risks they may be putting themselves into and take practical steps to avoid them.
“That means not swimming or surfing alone, stopping to assess the conditions and potential dangers and not overestimating your ability,” he says.
The Surf Life Saving season officially ends at Easter and until then volunteer lifeguards will continue to patrol around 80 locations nationwide on the weekends in the Northern Region and parts of the Bay of Plenty and Coromandel. If you swim after then take extra care.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *