The president of a Whangārei surf life saving club hopes whoever stole handheld radios vital for rescues didn't do so knowing they are "potentially putting people's lives at risk".

All of the Motorola patrolling radios - and some older analogue ones - belonging to the Whangārei Heads Surf Life Saving Club, based at Ocean Beach, were stolen some time last week along with a microwave and blunt end knives from the inflatable rescue boats.

Club president Jason Akroyd said he was upset to find out the items had been stolen.

"What I would hope is that they haven't done it knowing they are potentially putting people's lives at risk.


"So if they happen to appear on the deck at the club by next weekend, we would be very happy because it means we're reducing the risk of danger to the public."

Akroyd said the burglary was discovered on Saturday but is believed to have happened some time last week. Security footage was being looked at to determine a precise time.

He believed up to 10 radios were taken.

"We have an operation up in the clubhouse and then we have what we call a mobile operation down on the beach so if we need to get an urgent message in between, if there is a rescue situation, than we can't if we don't have the radios."

Radios like this were stolen from the Whangārei Heads Surf Life Saving Club. Photo / Supplied
Radios like this were stolen from the Whangārei Heads Surf Life Saving Club. Photo / Supplied

Lifeguards were able to continue with volunteer patrols over the weekend after borrowing radios from Ruakākā Surf Life Saving Patrol.

If they had not had those radios lifeguards would have been "very limited" in how efficiently they could have performed their duties, Akroyd said.

"It would've meant constant runners or mobile phone signal where we can get it. Ultimately, if anything happened where we needed them we would've had to have extra people on the beach just to do runners back to the clubhouse."

It's not the first time the radios have been targeted. In March thieves stole six Motorola radios from the club.


"We made sure we put them in a different, more secure place but they still got to them. Now we're going to have to spend more volunteer-earned money on upping the security once again."

Akroyd said it is believed the people who had the radios may still be in the Whangārei Heads area as transmissions were made over the surf life saving radio network by people who were likely not to be lifeguards.

For those transmissions to have been heard, the radios would need to be in range of the local repeater.

Akroyd said while the items are insured the excess on the insurance policy will remove a lot of the club's disposable funds, which means less money to spend on training volunteers or upgrading equipment.

"We've now got to find the money to replace them and they don't come immediately because they're not just a readily available item you pluck off the shelf. They've got to be coded and everything."

If anyone has any information they should contact Whangārei police on 09 430 4500.