While ''horrible'' summer weather has kept many from going to
Otago beaches this summer, it has not lowered the number of
people needing to be rescued by surf lifesaving crews.
Surf Life Saving New Zealand Otago and Southland club
development officer Steph Laughton said, anecdotally,
head-counts done by lifesaving crews on Otago's beaches were
down ''slightly'' compared to previous years, but not as much
''The weekdays have been horrible, but then usually in the
weekends, it's been nice and that's when our volunteer guards
are on patrol.
''It's been a rather wet summer and we are very grateful when
the sun comes out.''
Despite the decline in beach attendance, the number of people
rescued had increased, she said.
Over the past three years, rescue numbers had increased
steadily from 10 in 2011-12 to 17 in 2012-13 and already this
season had reached 19.
Miss Laughton said the increase was concerning and she
reminded beach-goers to remain vigilant while swimming on
She advised them to listen to the advice of lifeguards; keep
an eye on children in the water; never swim or surf alone;
stay between the flags; watch out for rips; and use beaches
that are patrolled by lifeguards.
Otago Surf Lifesaving rescues