LIFEGUARDING AT WHANGAMATA
Whangamata Surf Life Saving Club (WSLSC) operates both voluntary and paid lifeguard services throughout the summer period.
Voluntary weekend patrols run from Labour Weekend through to Easter each year while our paid lifeguard service operates throughout the week over the peak summer season supported by volunteer lifeguards.
In addition to standard lifeguard operations, WSLSC has an Emergency Callout Squad (ECOS) which operates 24/7/365 outside of standard patrol hours and responds to a large variety of search & rescue operations. ECOS members are all qualified lifeguards and come from a variety of backgrounds including police, fire, trades, students and retirees.
The squad trains together each week and is often tasked to respond to incidents from Houmunga Bay to the south and as far north as Pauanui. They also assist the Hot Water and Waihi beach callout squads as required; and are primarily tasked by Police or Coastguard to incidents close to shore, around rocks or in the surf where other agencies cannot access and commonly respond to swimmers in distress, overdue divers, grounded boats, fisherman injured on rocks, broken down boats and jet skis and kayakers/paddle boarders unable to return to shore due to difficult conditions around the islands.
Becoming a lifeguard, but more importantly joining the Whangamata Surf Lifesaving Club and family changed my life for the better, it has grown and developed me as a person and allowed me many opportunities to be a part of so many different aspects of the organisation. I have met and befriended some of the most amazing people, I firmly believe qualifying people as a lifeguard is not just our objective as a club, it’s to build amazing people – we sure have so far!
– Rachelle Bright