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Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
Source: Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ)

Boogie boarding is one of New Zealand’s favourite beach activities and Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ) is keen to ensure Kiwis can enjoy the activity safely this summer.

As part of the charity’s Ready. Set. Summer campaign, SLSNZ is raising awareness about how to enjoy non-powered watercraft activities such as boogie boarding, SUPing and sea kayaking safely.

“Our number one priority is ensuring that Kiwis make it home safe after a day at the beach,” says SLSNZ Chief Executive, Paul Dalton.

“We are water people ourselves and we know how joyful and restorative a day at the beach can be for the whole family,” says Dalton.

“However, volunteer Surf Lifeguards conduct hundreds of rescues throughout Aotearoa every year – and many of these involve people who are participating in activities such as surfing, SUPing, or boogie boarding,” he says.

“That’s why we’re urging Kiwis to make sure they’re prepared with the right knowledge and equipment before they head out for a day at the beach.”

SLSNZ’s National Coastal Safety Manager, Dr Mick Kearney, says boogie boards are particularly concerning due to their popularity with children.

“If Santa is getting the kids a boogie board for Christmas, please make sure he includes fins and an attached leash,” says Dr Kearney.

“A leash that’s attached to the boogie board means your child will have a flotation device if they get into difficulty in the water – and fins will give them extra kicking power so they can swim back to shore.”

Dr Kearney says it’s also vital for parents or guardians to keep children within arms’ reach at all times in or near the water.

“Rogue or large waves move really quickly and unexpectedly and can sweep kids away or knock them off their feet.”

Planning to head out for a day on the water in a SUP, sea kayak, powerboat or other watercraft? SLSNZ recommends visiting the Safer Boating Forum website for detailed advice on how to stay safe while enjoying watercraft activities this summer.

About SLSNZ

SLSNZ is the national association representing 74 surf lifesaving clubs with 18,000+ members, including more than 4,500 volunteer Surf Lifeguards. Our lifeguards patrol over 90 locations each summer and provide emergency call-out rescue services throughout Aotearoa, saving hundreds of lives each year and ensuring thousands return home safe after a day at the beach.

We do all this as a charity and rely on the generosity of the public, commercial partners, foundations and trusts for donations and financial contributions in order to lead and support our incredible front-line volunteer lifeguarding services.

MIL OSI