A Givealittle page has been set up to support the family of Hamish Rieger after her was swept off the rocks near the blowhole at Moturiki (Leisure) Island by a wave on Saturday evening.
The page has already fundraised over $13,000.
On Saturday, just hours before his death, Hamish was out on patrol when he treated a 5-year-old child who had been stung by a bluebottle jellyfish.
Jamie Troughton, spokesman for the Rieger family, said Hamish did a full day's patrol on Saturday.
"He was out there all day looking after everyone else, which sums him up."
Mr Troughton said Hamish was a "great young kid" and an integral part of the Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service.