With temperatures forecast to be pushing 30C in the coming days people will be flocking to beaches, rivers and lakes for a summer dip.

Unfortunately one of the country's favourite pastimes is also a major killer.

The escape of nine reportedly confident swimmers from a rip at Castlecliff Beach on Tuesday is, as one of group said, 'a scary wake-up call'.

The group did what everyone is taught to do; they were swimming between the flags and when they got into trouble they put their hand up.


Read more: Woman and child among eight swimmers caught in double rip at Castlecliff

On-duty lifeguards raced into the surf and pull two from the water while the others managed to get themselves to shore unscathed.

No harm done and it is reassuring to know the systems in place to prevent drowning do save lives.

But there was another wake-up call this week with a devastating ending.

On Monday Marton's Valentino Laki was found dead a day after going missing while swimming in the Rangitikei River.

What happened exactly is over to the coroner but Valentino's death is a sad reminder about how dangerous water can be.

It's the worst case scenarios - where families, friends and a community are forced to grapple with the loss of a 16-year-old boy - that ram the message home strongest.

Eighty-eight people died from preventable drowning in New Zealand last year, up from 78 the year before.

That's a worrying jump and the national tally is already running for 2018.

Everyone needs to take extra care be aware of how to be safe in water no matter who you are or where you are.

Water Safety New Zealand has some handy tips to start with.

Its Safety Code has four simple rules to follow before; Be prepared, watch out for yourself and others, be aware of the dangers and know your limits.

For further safety information you can visit www.watersafety.org.nz