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Conditions at Hot Water Beach heat up

Photo: SLNZ.

Lifeguards Hot Water Beach Lifeguard Service have been busy keeping holidaymakers safe.

Over Christmas and Boxing Day, they performed countless actions to prevent swimmers from getting into trouble and undertook three rescues at Hot Water Beach.

Numbers of beachgoers started to swell from 2pm on Christmas Day, and by the late afternoon, more than 500 people were digging.

As the water gets hot, people tend to swim out directly in front of the hot pools, which is actually the most dangerous part of the beach to swim in.

Off-shore rocks allow rip currents to form, connecting with deep pools created by inshore troughs running parallel to the shore.

As the tides change from ‘outgoing’ to ‘incoming’, there is a lot of water moving around and people can easily be swept out of their depth.

Sandi Lowe, from Hot Water Beach Lifeguard Service, says three rescues and a couple of assists at Hot Water Beach certainly avoided tragedy for some families.

"The niggly conditions throughout the day kept the guards vigilant, and they welcomed the additional volunteer lifeguards that came for the day.

"Lifeguards have beach safety signs out as well as people on the ground advising people not to swim in the dangerous area in front of the hot pools.

"Unfortunately, many people are still not following this advice. Anyone visiting Hot Water Beach should look for the sandbanks and swim between the flags.

"Be sure to keep children within arm’s reach, ask a lifeguard for advice and if in doubt, stay out."

Christmas Day and Boxing Day are busy days for Lifeguards, especially at Hot Water Beach.

Numbers are expected to continue to grow in the lead up to the New Year.

Beach Safety Messages

· Choose a lifeguarded beach and swim between the flags

· Read and understand the safety signs – ask a surf lifeguard for advice as conditions can change regularly

· Don’t overestimate your ability or your children’s ability to cope in the conditions

· Always keep a close eye on very young children in or near the water – always keep them within arm’s reach

· Get a friend to swim with you – never swim or surf alone

· Watch out for rip currents, they can carry you away from shore. If caught in a rip current remember the 3Rs: *Relax and float, *Raise your hand and *Ride the rip

· Be smart around rocks: When fishing never turn your back towards the sea and always wear a lifejacket · If in doubt, stay out! · If you see someone in trouble, call 111 and ask for the Police

· Be sun smart – slip, slop, slap and wrap to protect your skin and eyes from the sun’s damaging rays.

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