They would rather be on the beach than on their cell phones, they’re volunteers but they must pay to belong to a club, and most balance family, work, school or study in between practising their first aid skills, keeping fit, undertaking comprehensive training and doing beach duty. Lifeguards! They certainly are our summer surf heroes.

Protecting our community in the water, is Surf Life Saving New Zealand’s purpose and in nearly 107 years, they have been doing just that with not one single drowning between the flags. That’s quite something when New Zealand’s long and often tricky coastline is concerned. Nationwide, there are 74 clubs grouped into four local regions with over 19,000 members supported by SLSNZ staff. The majority are volunteers, with only a few paid lifeguards in locations where local councils provide…

To read this and other articles on the NZ Today website please click here to sign up for a membership. Once a member and logged in, you'll be able to read all the articles on the site.