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Lifeguards bashed at Hastings Splash Planet

Lifeguards bashed at Hastings Splash Planet
November 24, 2008

Hastings Police are investigating a weekend attack on staff at the the Splash Planet water park which left two staff members hospitalised with head injuries.

The Splash Planet male lifeguards were injured during an altercation with patrons while on duty.

Splash Planet management and police are still investigating what happened, but at this stage the welfare of staff is the primary concern of both Hastings District Council and Splash Planet management.

Hastings District Council Chief Executive, Ross McLeod, explained that violence of any nature at Splash Planet is completely unacceptable, stating "we have never had anything like this happen at Splash Planet and we are shocked at the level of violence in this incident.

"Staff are trained on how to handle difficult situations and in how not to let them escalate.

"Trespass notices will be issued against anyone involved and we will be examining our procedures and our staffing mix to minimise risk for our staff.

"However, in this case it does appear to be an example of unacceptable behaviour."

The staff members were released from hospital last night, but both will require further treatment to injuries sustained during the incident.

Yesterday there was an incident at Splash Planet in Hastings that led to two pool lifeguards being assaulted by patrons and subsequently hospitalised.

While awaiting further information on the incident New Zealand Recreation Association Chief Executive Brendon Ward stated that "this provides a timely reminder about the safety of pool pifeguards, park rangers, recreation programmers and anyone else who deals with the public from our sector.

"With summer on our doorstep and an increase in public participation in sport and recreation activities it may be appropriate to review ... health and safety procedures in particular dealing with difficult customers and violent behaviour."

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