Whanganui surf lifeguards are keen to share their knowledge with beachgoers to keep everyone safe in the water.

Surf Life Saving New Zealand and TSB are running a rip safety campaign over summer.

Whanganui surf life saving media spokesman Daniel Comp said local lifeguards were pleased with the impact of the message and wanted more people to learn it.

"They have been really pushing the three Rs message: relax and float, raise your hand and ride the rip," Comp said.

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"Educating people about rips is a big thing for us. Nobody is stronger than a rip.

"Most of the issues we have are at Kai Iwi Beach at the southern end where the stream comes out by the cliff. There's a really strong rip there at high tide that drags people around the cliff face. There are about four rips at Castlecliff Beach at the moment.

"We've been very busy this summer. The Fire Brigade has been involved a few times and we've used IRBs and lifeguards to help people out."

Comp said the lifeguard service was talking with Whanganui District Council about installing signs at Kai Iwi Beach to warn people of the rip danger.

It was fortunate that, in the latest serious incident at Kai Iwi on February 5, the woman caught in the rip knew to relax and ride the rip, he said. Emergency services had to rescue the woman from a cliff after she managed to get out of the water.

A woman had to be rescued from the cliffs at Kai Iwi Beach in February after being caught in a rip. Photo / Bevan Conley
A woman had to be rescued from the cliffs at Kai Iwi Beach in February after being caught in a rip. Photo / Bevan Conley

The Whanganui club won Surf Life Saving New Zealand's 2018 rescue of the year award for a rescue at Castlecliff Beach in February last year.

"Our job is public safety and our lifeguards talk to people on the beach when they close the patrols for the day and tell them where to swim," Comp said.

"We're happy to share our knowledge. If there's a problem after hours, people should ring 111 and ask for the police and they will contact us. We have boats on standby at Kai Iwi and Castlecliff and the time to launch is five minutes at both beaches."

Lifeguards are on daily patrol from noon to 6pm during the summer season, which officially ends on Sunday, March 3. However, Comp said patrols might be extended, depending on weather patterns.

The service has about 12 lifeguards working this summer. There are four rookies in training who are due to qualify in October.

On Sunday, March 3, the service and supporting business Mitre 10 Mega will hold a public safety day at Kai Iwi Beach. There will be activities for children, surf safety demonstrations and a sausage sizzle.

"We want to show people their local beaches so that they can pass that knowledge on to their kids," Comp said.

A woman had to be rescued from the cliffs at Kai Iwi Beach in February after being caught in a rip. Photo / Bevan Conley
A woman had to be rescued from the cliffs at Kai Iwi Beach in February after being caught in a rip. Photo / Bevan Conley