A new message from Northland lifeguards was on the notice boards welcoming people to popular beaches this Anniversary Weekend: "Remember to slip, slop & slap and SCAN SCAN SCAN!!"
Surf clubs in the Far North, Baylys Beach, Whangārei Heads, Ruakākā, Waipū Cove, and Mangawhai Heads pushed the message as holidaymakers got their last licks of sunshine at local beaches before school returns and in the wake of last week's three Covid-19 community cases.
Ruakākā Surf Lifesaving patrol captain and club chairman Tania Ahrens said Sunday proved to be a very busy day with 15 volunteer guards on patrol.
The club had a peak head count of 505 beachgoers and had completed one minor first aid and eight preventive actions by Sunday evening.
Ahrens said lifeguards made sure the public used the QR codes on display at the clubhouse and inside the public toilets.
"We've had that wake-up call for everybody about how the scanning is important. We wanted to remind people how important it is to scan everywhere you go."
Ruakākā had six locations pinpointed by the Ministry of Health as places of interests visited by the Northland woman who recently tested positive for Covid-19.
All of Northland's surf clubs have QR codes displayed for use on the Ministry of Health contact tracing app as advised by Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ).
Ahrens urged all beachgoers to scan using the app as hundreds of people congregated at Northland beaches at peak times.
Around 870 people flocked to Mangawhai Heads at their busiest time, followed by 637 at Waipū Cove, 350 at Ocean Beach in Whangārei Heads, 180 at Baylys Beach in Dargaville, and 94 at peak time at Ahipara Beach in the Far North.
Despite the high volumes of sun-seekers Ahrens said the number of swimming incidents had remained low as people absorbed national beach safety messages.
"It's absolutely amazing as five or six years ago parents weren't watching their children at the beach and now almost every parent is," Ahrens said.
"People have become very respectful now of the flags and are swimming between them or making sure to move down and stay between the flags."
The long weekend saw lifeguards from Mangawhai manage a major first aid when a man dumped by a wave had a dislocated shoulder corrected by an off-duty paramedic.
Waipū lifeguards were kept busy by a land-based search for a missing child that was quickly resolved, Surf Life Saving Northern Region search and rescue supervisor John-Michael Swannix said.
They also attended to a young girl who fainted when she was hit by her board, and rescued a 13-year-old boy in the water out of his depth.
Other emergency services reported any long-weekend action as standard business.
A Northland police spokeswoman said there was nothing out of the ordinary over the weekend in the region although traffic was busy in places yesterday as holidaymakers headed home.
Fire and Emergency northern communications shift manager Mark Richards said fire services had been steadily needed but nothing that caused major concern had occurred by edition time yesterday.
"The big fire in Pipiwai is all but contained. We're doing some work along there to make sure everything is dampened," he said. "Otherwise it has been business as usual."