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Swim Between the Flags

Always swim between the red and yellow patrol flags as they identify the safest area to swim when an active lifeguard is on duty.  During the day the flags may be moved as wind, tide or surf conditions change, so always check where they are.

Be Sun Smart

New Zealand has the highest death rate from melanoma in the world, each year 200 people die from melanoma and another 50 die from other preventable skin cancers.  Remember to apply sunscreen before you go out in the sun, reapply every hour or after you have been in the water.  The higher the SPF rating, the longer the protection sunscreen offers.

Rip Currents

A rip is a strong current of water running out to sea. They can be very dangerous to swimmers as they can sweep you out to sea quickly and easily.

Rip currents can be hard to identify, look for these features:

  • Discoloured or murky brown water caused by sand stirred up off the bottom
  • A smoother surface with much smaller waves, with waves breaking on either side
  • Debris floating out to sea
  • A rippled look, when the water around is generally calm. 

If you get caught in a rip:

  • Don't panic
  • Don't try to swim against the rip back to shore
  • Let the rip carry you out until the current subsides
  • Then swim parallel to the beach for 30-40 metres before swimming back to shore
  • If you get tired or become frightened, stay calm, raise your arm, call for help and wait for assistance.

Rules of the Water Safety Code

1. Be prepared

  • Learn to swim and survive.
  • Set rules for safe play in the water.
  • Always use safe and correct equipment and know the weather and water conditions before you get in.

2. Watch out for yourself and others

  • Always pay close attention to children you are supervising when in or near water.
  • Swim with others and in areas where lifeguards are present.

3. Be aware of the dangers

  • Enter shallow and unknown water feet first and obey all safety signs and warning flags. 
  • DO NOT enter the water after drinking alcohol.

4. Know your limits

  • Challenge yourself within your physical limits and experience.
  • Learn safe ways of rescuing others without putting yourself in danger.