Surf lifesaving patrols are over for the summer season, but a lifeguard is warning beach-goers to stay safe in the water with warm sea temperatures set to continue.
Surf patrols wrapped up at the end of Easter Weekend with eight rescues taking place in Mount Maunganui through the long weekend. A 17-year-old with autism was also rescued from the choppy surf on Wednesday afternoon this week.
Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service head coach John Bryant said the teen probably did not know the danger he was in. "It wasn't so much a rescue, he needed guidance to come in.
"We sent one of our guards out and they guided him off the head of the rip and brought him in.
"Otherwise he would have stayed out there until he couldn't swim anymore."
The boy had not heard a whistle blown by his caregivers signalling for him to swim ashore.
Mr Bryant said the club was first notified by emergency services after a call was made to 111 about 3.30pm.
"Our office lady came out and screamed rescue, rescue, rescue - Hart St, autistic kid.
"That's all we needed and we got down there."
Mr Bryant said water conditions were a "choppy two- to three-foot surf".
"Where he was swimming was right at the head of the rip, they guided him over north away from the rip and were able to bring him in."
Don't go out above your waist if you can't swim that well. Know your limits.
SHARE THIS QUOTE:
Because the sea temperature was still about 20C, people would be swimming in the ocean for the next six weeks, he said.
"There is no sign of cooling at the moment, by the end of April the water might have dropped a degree or two.
"So it will still be 18 or 19 C which is still pretty warm. That is what the temperature is in December."
Towards the end of the May the sea temperature would really start to drop, he said.
"I can see people swimming now for the next six weeks, easily. Best advice is to be smart.
"Don't go out above your waist if you can't swim that well. Know your limits."