A busy surf life saving region is facing funding cuts at a time when it has a high number of rescues.
Some 666 people have needed rescuing this summer so far. Most of these were in the past two weeks.
Of these, 196 rescues were in the Coromandel and in the Bay of Plenty, where clubs face funding cuts from councils.
Surf Life Saving said an inconsistent money flow makes it difficult to keep the organisation afloat.
Eastern regional manager Chris Emmett said lifeguards are stretched at times coping with the big numbers flocking to beaches. But some councils in the region are cutting funds to surf life saving clubs.
Club development general manger Mark Weatherall said some clubs are having to cut their patrols, because money is not available.
He said keeping the organisation afloat can be difficult.