Award nominations reflect a season of success for northern lifeguards

For Surf Lifesaving Northern Region

Three northern region clubs have been nominated for a diverse range of rescues at this year’s Toyota Financial Services Surf Life Saving Northern Region Awards of Excellence on 27 July.

This season alone Surf Life Saving Northern Region (SLSNR) lifeguards performed 286 rescues and 447 assists with rescues performed by Orewa, Kariaotahi and Bethells Surf Life Saving Clubs in the running for the Rescue of the Year Award.

SLSNR CEO Matt Williams says the finalists selected point to the growing level of support offered by lifeguards around the clock and inland and offshore.

One of the finalists, Orewa Surf life Saving Club, was nominated for a rescue which involved two beloved pets at the Orewa estuary. A mother and son leapt into the Orewa Estuary to rescue their Labrador Kune from a rip with their young Staffordshire pup Chevy following behind them. The family of four were all in trouble in the water before lifeguards from Orewa Surf Lifesaving Club spotted their signal for help and came to their aid.

The second finalist is a mass rescue performed by Kariaotahi Surf Life Saving Club on Waitangi Day. Following on from a call-out to Hamilton’s Gap, a non-patrolled beach 20km north of Kariaotahi Beach, lifeguards were confronted with flash rips at Kariaotahi Beach resulting in 10 swimmers getting into difficulty before being harmoniously returned to shore.

Bethells Beach Surf Life Saving Club has also been recognised for a rescue that started with the assistance of an injured patient on the West Auckland beach track with an ankle injury. Later on that day in an off-duty rescue, five struggling swimmers caught in a rip were assisted to safety.

Williams says that lifeguards faced a number of demanding rescues this season and have answered them admirably.  “All northern lifeguards made tremendous efforts to preserve life this season and the nominations speak of our lifeguard’s ongoing commitment to keep the public safe along our coastlines,” he says.

The annual awards night is a highlight for the whole organisation and Williams is pleased to see lifeguard’s thriving in all categories.

Surf clubs from the east coast beaches once again dominated the nominations for the awards overall. Mairangi Bay Surf Life Saving Club had the most finalists with 34 nominees being selected for the awards. The club also had the strongest representation in both the sports and lifesaving award categories. Other clubs with high recognition include Orewa with 21 and Red Beach with 11 successful nominations.

Other notable awards include the CSE Genesis Innovation of the Year Award which includes finalists for activity done around the senior guard school by Membership Development Group, patrol training at Karekare and the summer Northland Beach Education Tour which was conducted by Waipu Cove.

Members from Mairangi Bay and Omaha Life Saving Club are the first finalists for the new Outstanding Contribution to Event Safety award and a full list of finalists is appended to this release.

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