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Web Site of the Whangarei Heads Surf Lifesaving Patrol

PATROL BACKGROUND
Whangarei Heads Volunteer Surf Life Saving Patrol was established in 1987 by locals concerned at the dangerous nature of Ocean Beach. They originally patrolled from the lookout carpark, and worked out of a tin shed near the current lookout which stored their rescue equipment, travelling to and from the beach each patrolling day. 1988 saw the patrol have a Keith Hay relocatable building sited at the lookout. Moves were made in the next few years to relocate to the current site above the car park at the end of Ranui Road. This was not without hurdles, as the public and community objected resulting in a lengthy consent process. Consent was finally given and the move was made. This building has now served it's purpose and the patrol which has gone from strength to strength over the last 5 years, now finds the present building inadequate for it's current and future needs. Plans are underway for a new building for the 2005-2006 season.

THE PATROL TODAY
Current membership at Ocean Beach stands at 35, with JuniorSurf at around another 20. Patrol structure is totally flat, the President and the committee, are doing rescues alongside the young guards. Age is no barrier, teens to 50 year olds do the yards, the patrolling, the preventatives and the rescues.

THE PATROLLING SEASON
Starts Oct 25 and runs 6 months over summer to April. The busy time is the Christmas holiday period which is full on with the crowds hitting the beach for R and R. The Patrolling procedure at OB is in line with SLSNZ procedure, which is pro-active, i.e. Risk management from the carpark to the water, and then more. But we are mindful we are there to advise, not to inform. We run two patrols, weekend about with a core of (usually) 10 qualified Lifeguards, plus the trainees, and non-swimming Patrol Support

SKILLS BASED TRAINING
The Patrol at Ocean Beach has a wide and varied Surf Lifesaving programme. Age is no barrier, we cater from 5 to ??. There are skills availiable for all - surf swimming, tube rescue training, radio operation, how to read rips, (and play in them!), First Aid training, inflatable rescue boat skills (driving and crewing), paddle boards and surf ski skills among many. Want to be part of a succesfull, and fun, volunteer organisation? - keeping the beach going public safe, while being able to enjoy the beach? Friendship, team spirit, skills training and community involvement are great ways to build an impressive CV. Develop leadership skills, there are training courses especially designed to enhance this. We encourage involvement in Surf and non -surf competition, many of our guards are active sports people at local, regional and international level. There are also opportunities to work as paid Guards over summer. Surf Lifesaving qualifications are NZQA accredited and accepted world wide.

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