Waipu and Ruakaka Surf Life Saving Clubs are celebrating the efforts of their lifeguards after the two clubs took away four awards at the annual Toyota Financial Services Surf Life Saving Northern Region Awards of Excellence on Saturday.
One of the top awards on the night went to Kyle Taylor from the Ruakaka Club who won the Regional Lifeguard of the Year award.
"Kyle is the rock of the service," said Matt Williams, the chief executive officer of Surf Life Saving Northern Region. "His knowledge base, skills and flexibility has proven him to be an outstanding and invaluable asset to the regional lifeguard service."
Mr Williams said Mr Taylor had promoted safer beach activity in the community and mentored younger lifeguards.
"He sets a fantastic example and the highest of standards, proving to be the perfect role model. His experience and calmness in adverse situations proved instrumental in managing incidents and preventing drowning and injury on northern region beaches," said Mr Williams.
Three Waipu Club members, Simon Bell, Dylan McCombe and Peter Hayward, all received Service Awards.
A total of 49 awards for the 2015/16 season were presented at Shed 10 on Queen's Wharf in Auckland, where 350 surf club members and guests gathered to acknowledge the efforts of the surf life saving community.
In the summer of 2015/16 Surf Life Saving's Northern Region volunteer and paid life guards made 581 rescues, a 28 per cent increase over 2014/15.
Importantly, there were no drownings "between the flags" at the 17 patrolled beaches between Ahipara and Raglan in the Northern Region.
Life guards worked more than 83,000 hours over summer, a 10 per cent increase, while visitor numbers at beaches exceeded 453,000 people.
Outstanding Contribution to Power Craft: Shane Edwards, Sunset Beach.
Instructor of the Year: Faron Turner, Orewa.
Rookie Lifeguard of the Year: Jaelyn Fielding, Bethells Beach.
U19 Surf Lifeguard of the Year: Tyla Kettle, Raglan.
Surf Lifeguard of the Year: Ollie Irwin, Bethells Beach.
Examiner of the Year: Jim West, Mairangi Bay.
Regional Lifeguard of the Year: Kyle Taylor, Ruakaka.