New Zealand has some fantastic beaches and plenty of opportunities to enjoy the ocean.
Surf Life Saving New Zealand patrol over 80 of our busiest beaches each summer, but there are also hundreds of amazing, quiet beaches all around New Zealand that are unpatrolled. Therefore, it is important that your clients are aware of their surroundings before entering the water.
Always swim between the red and yellow patrol flags - These identify the safest areas to swim when an active lifesaving patrol is on the beach. If there are no lifeguards on duty, then remain in the shallows and stay alert to your surroundings.
Avoid rip currents - On unpatrolled beaches it is important to think about water safety as it is quite common to have a beach to yourself in New Zealand. A rip is a strong and fast current of water running out to sea, often found on good surf beaches but can occur anywhere. They can be hard to identify but there are a few recognisable 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.
As rip currents often appear to be calmer parts of water with less waves and a smoother surface, they can be mistaken as ideal swimming spots by visitors who may not be familiar with the ocean.
If your clients are planning to visit our amazing beaches, then advise them to familiarise themselves with Water Safety advice.
Water Safety New Zealand launched a highly successful Instagram campaign in 2016 called the Swim Reaper, delivering water safety messages using dark humour and mockery. If you think your clients would appreciate some Kiwi humour but also need a reminder about water safety while travelling, encourage them to follow the Swim Reaper on Instagram.