Advice on safe driving on beaches following crash

By Imran Ali -
Paramedics attend to injured motorists on Baylys Beach after a two-car crash on Saturday.
Paramedics attend to injured motorists on Baylys Beach after a two-car crash on Saturday.

Lifeguards have cautioned motorists to drive to conditions on Northland beaches this summer following a crash between two cars put two people in hospital.

Police, firefighters, St John paramedics and two rescue helicopters were called to Baylys Beach near Mahuta Gap Rd about 4pm on Saturday.

The injured were flown to the Whangarei Hospital by a Northland Rescue Helicopter from North Shore and a Westpac Rescue Helicopter from Auckland.

Northland Rescue Helicopter pilot Brian Taylor said he flew to the St John station on Western Hills Dr and to pick up paramedics before heading to Baylys Beach.

He airlifted a 24-year-old man with leg injuries and a bandaged head who was dazed but was able to walk.

The other helicopter picked up two patients with serious injuries.

Mr Taylor said both helicopters were requested as one of the Northland Rescue helicopters had a technical problem.

The Police Serious Crash Unit is investigating the collision. Surf Lifesaving Northern region said with summer fast approaching, drivers on beaches needed to take extra care.

"Beaches are roads so road rules apply but beach surface is different to roads. There are very soft patches which drivers don't realise and it doesn't take long for vehicles to roll over," said operational support officer Chase Cahalane..

He said over the years there had been accidents and even fatalities on Northland beaches that involved motocross vehicles, quadbikes, and four-wheel-drive vehicles.

"We have spoken to a lot of drivers who got stuck on Baylys Beach in the past," he said.

"Our advice to drivers is to drive to conditions and drive responsibly, especially in summer when a lot of people will be beaches."

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