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Surf Life Saving New Zealand begins summer fundraising
With volunteer lifeguards putting themselves in potentially dangerous situations to help beachgoers through summer, Surf Life Saving New Zealand has commenced its annual Surf Life Saving Summer Appeal.
Over the past 10 years, lifeguards have spent over two million hours on patrol, saving over 13,700 lives, leading Surf Life Saving New Zealand Chief Executive Paul Dalton to emphasise how the essential rescue service needs public backing.
Dalton explains “not only does the Summer Appeal allow us to celebrate the remarkable work of our lifeguards but it’s a chance to raise awareness about lifesaving services in general and raise much needed funds to support the 4,500 volunteer lifeguards who will be on duty this summer.”.
This year’s appeal tagline highlights some of the key aspects of Surf Life Saving in New Zealand.
‘Bravely’- while all lifeguards are highly skilled and go through rigorous training to earn their ‘red and yellows’ they often have to put themselves into dangerous situations in order to save others; not just on the beach, but as part of callout squads and search and rescue operations.
‘Serving’- because many people don’t realise that most of the lifeguards that patrol our beaches are volunteers, sacrificing their summer to protect others.
‘Between the Flags’- the safest place to be at the beach.
Dalton says while lifeguards are proud of the number of lives they’ve saved, they’re most proud of the safety record between the flags, stating “we may sound like a broken record but when the flags are up, that means lifeguards are on patrol and this is the safest place to swim when you’re enjoying the beach.”
Last season alone, Surf Lifeguards saved 1,517 people from life threatening situations and they’re expecting another huge summer and an especially busy Christmas holiday period.
The safety of people on the beach is Surf Life Saving’s core business and lifeguards are an integral part of that.
Dalton adds “without our volunteers, we wouldn’t have a rescue service.”
Donations can be made at www.surflifesaving.org.nz
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