Water safety awareness sees drop in incidents

Lifeguards at Whites Bay had a "great season" this year with three first aid incidents compared with nine last year.

Surf Lifesaving New Zealand southern regional manager Stu Bryce said Whites Bay was "a nice wee bay" and the number of first aid events and rescues was always low.

He attributed the fall to the shorter summer, and a push for greater safety in the water.

Surf Lifesaving's work in Marlborough was based around prevention, Bryce said.

"We don't want to be the ambulance at the bottom of the hill."

The Surf Lifesaving season runs from Labour Weekend to Easter.

In the 2012-2013 season there were nine incidents at Whites Bay, mainly due to people going out around the rocks.

This season there were 15 rescues in Nelson, most of which involved people swimming or sailing at night.

Surf Lifesaving New Zealand was also involved in three searches and one first aid incident in Nelson.

The searches were either instigated by police or by concerned parents after their children wandered away.

Bryce said he advised people to enjoy themselves, but to respect the water. "Parents also need to be actively involved when their kids go swimming."