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Important Surfers Rescue 24/7 Roll Out This Summer

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For immediate release

16November 2022

From:  Surfing New Zealand
Sport: Surfing
Programme: Surfers Rescue 24/7
Surfing New Zealand

Important Surfers Rescue 24/7 Roll Out This Summer

Summer is just around the corner and Surfing New Zealand is looking forward to facilitating Surfers Rescue 24/7 Courses around our coastline to upskill the surfing community with essential lifesaving skills.

With support from Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ) and New Zealand Search and Rescue, we are aiming for safer beaches around the New Zealand coastline. The Surfers Rescue 24/7 initiative was developed by Surfing NSW in conjunction with Surf Life Saving NSW in Australia.  The two-hour course gives surfers and water users the ability, confidence, and skillset to perform a rescue in an emergency with techniques to best use your surfboard in these situations.

Kicking off the 2022-2023 summer season we head to Ohope, Whangamata, Piha, Raglan, Bay of Plenty and Taranaki before heading further afield in the new year. Almost 500 surfers and surf instructors have completed the course already, it is now hoped that the support of SLSNZ with New Zealand Search and Rescue will see a further 300 participants learn the skills to assist in an emergency in the surf.

The support will also lead to additional research around the course and ability for rescues to be logged.

Surfline has come on board offering course participants discounts to their surf reporting and subscription services.

The aim this summer is to make our beaches safer outside the flags from dawn ‘til dusk.

“As surfers we are in the water 365 days a year and are often the first responders to emergencies on beaches and waterways,” says Surfers Rescue 24/7 coordinator Lee Ryan.

As we lead into another busy summer with a number of preventable drownings already taking place, it’s crucial that we as surfers and regular beach goers, are prepared to deal and assist with any emergency at the beach. “This is why the Surfers Rescue 24/7 program is so important to get out into New Zealand’s surfing community,” adds Ryan.

According to Surf Lifesaving Australia, more than 60% of rescues in Australia are performed by recreational surfers. With over 15,000 kilometres of coastline in Aotearoa and a love for the water, these numbers are expected to be similar on our shores. 90% of New Zealand beaches are unpatrolled so it is important for surfers to be better equipped to perform and react in emergency situations at the beach.

For more information on the roll out of these Surfers Rescue 24/7 Courses, please contact Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz.

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