Here's what you need to know to keep Kiwi families safe at the beach this summer

Publish Date
Wednesday, 19 December 2018, 2:30PM

When it’s summer and the sun is shining, there’s nothing Kiwi families love more than getting to the beach for a swim.

And during all the fun of splashing around in the ocean, it’s important to remember to stay safe.

Just last summer Surf Life Saving New Zealand lifeguards rescued 2375 people – none of whom were ‘swimming between the flags’ - and sadly 14 Kiwis lost their lives in the water.

So this summer Surf Life Saving NZ and DHL Express, along with its partners, have released a new safety message to keep New Zealand families safe.

Top 10 tips to stay safe at the beach this summer

1. Choose a life-guarded beach and swim between the flags

2. Read and understand the safety signs - ask a lifeguard for advice as conditions can change regularly.

3. Don't overestimate your or your children's ability to cope in the conditions.

4. Always keep a very close eye on young children in or near the water - keep them within arm's reach at all times.

5. Get a friend to swim with you. Never swim or surf alone.

6. Watch out for rip currents, they can carry you away from shore. If caught in a rip current, lie on your back and float, put your hand up and call for help.

7. Be smart around rocks: When fishing, never turn your back towards the sea and always wear a lifejacket.

8. If in doubt, stay out!

9. If you see someone in trouble, call 111 and ask for Police.

10. Be sun smart – Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap. Protect your skin and eyes from the sun's damaging rays.