Waihi Beach volunteer lifeguards have been recognised for their efforts in helping search for and recover the body of a Hamilton teenager so his family could have some closure.
Jaden Chhayrann, 17, was caught in a rip while swimming at Waihi Beach and swept out to sea on February 21.
Multiple searches were carried out each day until the morning of March 1 when the teenager's body was found north of Whiritoa Beach, by Whiritoa Surf Lifeguards.
During those days, the boy's family were looked after by Waihi Beach club members, the Red Cross Katikati Community Relief Team, the Otawhiwhi Marae and the Maori Wardens.
Jaden was found more than 16km up the coast from where he disappeared.
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For their efforts, the Waihi Beach Surf Lifesaving Service was named Surf Life Saving New Zealand BP Rescue of the Month for February.
A Surf Life Saving New Zealand spokesperson said carrying out this important search and recovery work was a huge task that affected the volunteer surf lifeguards deeply.
"It is important to be able to help give families closure as part of their grieving process.
"For the family involved, and the Surf Lifeguards, a great deed has been done."
The Surf Lifeguards involved in bringing the teenager's body home will be recognised with $500 of BP gift vouchers for their club.
"The outcome was unfortunately tragic and our thoughts are with the young man's family and the Surf Lifeguards involved," BP NZ managing director Debi Boffa said.
"We know that IRBs are important to surf clubs all over the country and this is another example of why that's the case. We would like to acknowledge and recognise the tenacity and incredible commitment of the lifeguards who were involved.
"We're incredibly proud to have supported Surf Life Saving for 52 years, and to have the opportunity to recognise the outstanding skills shown in this incident, " Boffa said.
Surf Life Saving Kariaotahi and Sunset Beach Lifeguard Service will receive $300 and $200 BP gift cards respectively as BP Rescue of the Month second and third place getters.
Surf Life Saving Kariaotahi was recognised for rescuing 12 people from a flash rip on Waitangi Day and Sunset Beach Lifeguard Service for rescuing seven teenagers in serious danger in a rip on February 16.