Bay of Plenty surf lifesavers are among the heroic lifeguards, selfless volunteers, and world champion athletes in the running for this year's Surf Life Saving NZ Awards of Excellence.

The awards mark the top achievements, innovations and efforts made by club members.

Pāpāmoa's Ryan Hohneck (right) is a finalist in the Instructor of the Year category. Photo / File
Pāpāmoa's Ryan Hohneck (right) is a finalist in the Instructor of the Year category. Photo / File

Throughout the country there are 18,832 club members, including 4,903 lifeguards.

Surf Life Saving NZ said in the 2018/19 year surf lifesavers saved 702 people from life-threatening situations, and between July 1 to June 30 they helped 1,622 people to safety from dangerous situations. It took part in 381 searches, provided first aid 2,578 times, and took preventative action to keep people safe on the beach 118,307 times.

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Ōmanu's Haven Bellamy is a Lifeguard of the Year finalist. Photo / File
Ōmanu's Haven Bellamy is a Lifeguard of the Year finalist. Photo / File

Surf Life Saving NZ senior executive Matt Warren said in a press release this afternoon, "we have some incredible talents in our clubs who are achieving amazing things, and so many people behind the scenes putting in huge volunteer efforts".

The awards event will be held at Te Papa, on September 21.

Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service club coach John Bryant is a finalist for Coach of the Year. Photo / File
Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service club coach John Bryant is a finalist for Coach of the Year. Photo / File