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Riversdale surf club caps off the 2024 season

The surf lifesaving patrols for the 2023 to 2024 season at Riversdale Beach officially ended at the beginning of this month and, according to Riversdale Surf Lifesaving Club Captain Mike Taylor, they were a great success.

The first day of patrols for the season at Riversdale were
on October 21, 2023, and the final day was on Easter Monday, April 1.

During the intervening period, surf lifesavers worked a total of 2842.

“Summer was an improvement on last year with warm sunny days and mild warm seas,” Taylor said.

“We had 12 new guards train, thanks to help from Palmerston North and Lyall Bay.

“Lifeguards were trained in first aid and inflatable rescue boats [IRB] crewing; some started the journey to become IRB drivers.”

Data provided to the Times-Age also broke down what sorts of aid and assistance the Riversdale lifeguards provided over the season.

A total of six minor first-aid incidents were reported over the 2023 to 2024 season.

“These could be things like giving someone an ice pack or a plaster,” Taylor said.

In addition, just one major incident was reported.

“This is things like a heart attack or spinal injury, but given we help the ambulance and other services outside of patrols, the number is probably higher,” Taylor said.

“I have been to about 11 incidences outside of the club patrols.”

Riversdale surf lifesavers also conducted one search, one assist, three rescues, and 213 preventative actions, such as moving flags or cleaning up broken glass.

Taylor noted that in addition to the beach patrols, the surf lifesaving club members also help other emergency services when emergencies occur in the area.

“We can respond to car crashes, for example, because we have skills and equipment such as a spinal board,” he said.

“Say someone in Riversdale called 111 because they are helping someone who is having a heart attack, we have a defibrillator so we might be asked by Wellington Free Ambulance to go and help out while they are on route.

“Also, we can act as first responders on the water where the Coast Guard normally goes because there is no coastguard in Wairarapa, and we would need to wait for a crew from Wellington.”

The club also held a successful fundraiser, plus a successful nipper’s programme – which teaches five- to 14-year-olds important surf safety skills on and off the water – Including an impressive performance from nipper Keoni Tiley at the national competition in Mount Maunganui.

Now that patrols have ended for this season, Taylor said that planning for next season is now underway: “See you all on Labour weekend.”

Freddie Wilkie
Freddie Wilkie
Freddie Wilkie is a journalist at the Wairarapa Times-Age; originally moving from Christchurch, he is interested in housing stories as well as covering emergencies and crime.

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