LISTEN: Beachgoers are being urged to take extra caution as summer approaches.
New Zealand's coastal drownings continue to rise and as the warmer weather encourages flocks of people to visit beaches over Christmas and the New Year, it's a timely reminder for swimmers to be aware of the risks.
Surf Life Saving Northern Region CEO Matt Williams says people are injuring themselves and drowning at beaches because they underestimate the conditions.
"No one goes to the beach not to have an enjoyable day," he told Magic Talk.
Men are particularly bad when it comes to water safety, Williams said.
"Don't overestimate your abilities. Be very conscious of what you can and can't do around the water."
Surf Live Saving's message to all beach users are:
- Choose to swim at a lifeguarded beach
- Know your limits and not underestimate the conditions
- Follow the 3Rs rip survival guide if you get caught in a rip - "relax, raise your hand and ride the rip"
- Call 111 and ask for Police if you see someone in trouble.
Weekday patrols at Bethells don’t start until 6 December, while Muriwai and Piha start a week earlier on 29 November.
The Safeswim website is also a useful tool for finding patrolled Northern region beaches and checking water conditions.
Listen to the full interview with Matt Williams above.
Magic Talk | Mornings with Leah Panapa, weekdays from 9am