Willie Marino enjoys a ride in an IRB with lifeguards Laura Josephson and Tracy Wilson during a day at the beach for IRIS clients.

IRIS works to support people with physical and intellectual disabilities, injuries and health concerns.

Tracy Wilson, IRIS communications manager, said her clients were interested in living an ordinary life and part of that was getting to enjoy a day at the beach. As many IRIS clients are in wheelchairs just getting onto the sand can prove difficult.

With the help of Surf Life Saving Northern Region, five clients and seven support workers headed to Mairangi Bay to learn about beach and water safety and what it takes to be a lifeguard. Two lifeguards showed the group safety equipment and first aid procedures. Afterwards, those who were brave enough went for a spin in an inflatable rescue boat.

"They were apprehensive at first," said Ms Wilson.

"They relaxed into it and were having quite a bit of fun."