7 Jan 2013

Busy time for lifeguards at beach hotspots

1:58 pm on 7 January 2013

The Surf Life Saving manager for one of New Zealand's busiest regions says staff are stretched on a shoe-string budget as they deal with potential record numbers of rescues this summer.

There have been 140 rescues so far in the eastern region alone, with several more weeks left in the surf life saving season which runs from Labour Weekend until Easter.

The organisation's regional manager for the eastern region says already, this summer is looking to become one of their busiest on record.

Chris Emmett says staff are stretched from the Coromandel's Hot Water Beach to Opotiki in the Bay of Plenty, as huge numbers of people flock to the beach.

"We've still got basically till Easter. It's been extremely busy - it's certainly up there in one of our top one or two busiest seasons."

Despite the low-level funding, some clubs are extending their patrol hours as people continue to stay longer at the beach, he says.