Swimmers snub safety rules

By MORGAN TAIT


Five incidents involving swimmers ignoring the cardinal rules of beach safety at Ocean Beach yesterday which led to rescues could have had disastrous consequences if lifeguards had not been on hand.

All the swimmers ignored warnings to use the water between the flags and got caught in strong rips, said Surf Life Saving New Zealand eastern club development officer David Beattie.

"They were interventions but if we hadn't been there they would have been critical incidents," Mr Beattie said.

"We put flags where there are no rips and people think it is uncool to swim between the flags, so they swim next to them - but guess what is next to them." He said not swimming in the patches of water identified as safe was like "crossing the road without looking".

"Nobody has ever drowned swimming between the flags on a patrolled beach."

All beachgoers needed to remember to swim between the flags, listen to lifeguards and know their limits.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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