Rodney Times : December 23rd 2010
www.rodneytimes.co.nz Thursday, December 23, 2010 Lifestyle & Rural Specialists Building better for less 09 299 7855 | www. econobuilt.co.nz Be safe on beaches Summer safety: Thousands will enjoy visiting beaches around Rodney in the next few weeks like these two children at Pakiri Beach. Lifeguards have made some safety recommendations, along with Water Safety NZ and The Cancer Foundation. Photo: AUCKLAND COUNCIL By CARALISE MOORE Inset: Coming up in early January is the Owen Chapman Cup surf carnival held at Red Beach Surf Club. Pictured is the start of the under-16 girls race last year. Photo: ROSS MALYON THE dozens of popular beaches lining Rodney’s east and west coast- line attract thousands every year. Surf lifeguards are guaranteed a busy season. They volunteer their time throughout the year but step up their game in the holiday period with patrols at all major beaches on weekdays from 10am to 6pm, and weekends and holidays from 11am to 5pm. Surf Life Saving northern region has also appointed 84 qualified and paid staff to work as regional lifeguards for the busy period. ‘‘The regional guards will be stationed all around the joint, including Omaha, Waipu, Pakiri, Mangawhai, Bethells, Muriwai and Orewa beaches,’’ northern region programme and services manager Andy Kent says. ‘‘They are employed by surf life saving and are trained and picked because of their qualifications and skills. We send out with a minimum number for each beach, depending on the beach risk levels.’’ Surf Life Saving New Zealand reminds beach visitors to swim between the flags, listen to the lifeguards and check weather con- ditions before they head out. ‘‘Every person should know their limits. Don’t venture out too far if you aren’t a terribly good swim- mer,’’ Mr Kent says. ‘‘Parents should be enjoying the beaches with their kids. We are happy to help patrol but at the same time we want parents to take res- ponsibility for their children.’’ Mr Kent says the main reason drownings occur, especially at west- ern beaches, is because people swim outside the times there is a patrol or in areas where there are no lifeguards. Water Safety New Zealand is recommending swimmers never enter the water alone and don’t swim after drinking alcohol or taking drugs. The Cancer Society of New Zea- land is also reminding beach-goers to be SunSmart. More than 90 percent of all skin cancer cases are attributed to excess sun exposure. The Cancer Society is asking people slip on sun-protective cloth- ing, slop on SPF30+ sunscreen 20 minutes before going outdoors, and every two hours afterwards. TIPS FOR A SAFE SUMMER Rip safety Water Safety New Zealand has given some tips on how to spot rip currents at beaches this summer. A rip is formed by waves washing up onto the beach – this water needs to find its way back out to sea. On many beaches the force of water forms a channel or pathway called a rip. Look for any of the following clues that will indicate the presence of a rip current: ■ A darker colour of water ■ Murky brown water caused by sand stirred off the bottom ■ Smoother surface with much smaller waves ■ Debris floating out to sea ■ A rippled look when the water around is generally calm If you get caught in a rip, do not panic. Swim parallel to the shore, towards the break waves which will help push you back into the beach. Do not attempt to swim against the rip, you will get tired and go nowhere. Stay calm, raise your arm and call for help. Slip, slop, slap and wrap The slip, slop, slap and wrap message has been strengthened with new Australian research that indicates daily sunscreen use can reduce the risk of melanoma in adults, the Cancer Society says. Skin cancer adviser Dr Judith Galtry says Queensland Institute of Medical Research’s study could be the most important ever conducted in assessing the effect of sunscreen on skin cancer risk. More than 1600 randomly selected Queensland residents participated in the trial. Half applied sunscreen everyday and half continued to apply it as they normally would. Fifteen years after the trial, the number of people who developed melanomas from the discretionary sunscreen group was double that of the group who had applied sunscreen daily.
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