Western Bay beaches are set to be safer for beachgoers with the start of the surf life-saving patrol season this weekend.

Flags will be out and volunteer lifeguards will be patrolling beaches at Omanu, Mount Maunganui and Papamoa beaches from tomorrow.

Surf lifesaving officials say the first weekend of patrols is traditionally rather quiet as weather conditions are often too cold for beachgoers, which is likely to be the case this year.

According to MetService, today and tomorrow could see light showers in the morning and fine conditions later on before rain on Monday.


Omanu Surf Lifesaving Club director of lifeguards Vaughan Judkins said 12 volunteer lifeguards will be patrolling over the weekend but he did not expect many swimmers to flock to the area.

"We're not expecting too many people on the beach," Mr Judkins said.

He said opening weekend was a good way for lifeguards to ease back into patrols as well as make people aware the safe swimming spots would be marked by flags from now on until Easter.

As temperatures increased so would lifeguard numbers, Mr Judkins said.

"The public get an awareness that summer is starting."

Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service general manager Glenn Bradley said it was important for beachgoers to remember to swim between the flags, never swim alone and stay out of the water if they were concerned about anything.

He said lifeguards would be out patrolling the beach to keep people safe but said how busy they would be was dependent on the weather.

Meanwhile, patrols in Pukehina would begin on Sundays only in November and extend to full weekends in December while Maketu patrols would begin in December.

All surf clubs were preparing for their open days and encouraged any juniors interested in joining to get in touch.

Tips to keep safe in the water:

Swim between the flags
Do not swim alone
If in doubt, stay out
Swim within your ability
Check the weather conditions and be aware of any signs of danger
Talk to the lifeguards

Lifeguard patrols:

Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service/Omanu Surf Lifesaving Club/Papamoa Surf Life Saving Club patrols start this weekend

Maketu Surf Life Saving Club - Sunday patrols start at the beginning of December and weekend patrols begin in the middle of December

Pukehina Surf Life Saving Club - Sunday patrols start in November and weekend patrols start in December