Volunteers will team up with police and other emergency services this weekend for a marine search and rescue operation.

Tauranga Coastguard, surf life Saving clubs and police will be on the water near Motiti Island on Sunday as part of the annual SAREX (Search and Rescue Exercise) event.

The exercise will test the intergroup coordination of a multi-agency event both at a management level and with the search assets.

It will involve the seach and rescue teams from the Surf Life Saving clubs at Mount Maunganui, Omanu and Papamoa plus Coastguard units from Maketu, Tauranga and Waihi Beach.


Sergeant Craig Madden of the police search and rescue unit said in a release sent out this afternoon "the exercise is very timely as it is the start of our summer when there is a remarkable increase in the amount of water based activities, which inherently means more incidents requiring Search and Rescue."

Mr Madden said if people took simple precautions, it reduced the chances of getting into trouble.

''Telling someone where you are going and when to expect you back means if you do get into trouble we can get to you quicker,'' Mr Madden said.

''Skippers are also reminded to check the marine weather forecast before you leave home and make sure you have lifejackets for everyone on board."