Lifesavers begin patrols
Southern surf lifesavers are hoping for the sun to shine all summer long as they begin patrolling the region's beaches.
The Oreti Surf Life Saving Club will start weekend patrols on Saturday, while the Kaka Point Surf Life Saving Club has already started.
The Kaka Point club will also man the beach on weekdays from December 20 through to January 23.
Oreti Surf Life Saving Club captain Rob Cole said the members of the world's southernmost surf lifesaving club were ready to go.
"It is always exciting to start the season, especially because it means summer is on the way," he said.
Standing watch while families and other beachgoers enjoyed the surf was "not a bad way to spend the weekends", he said.
Mr Cole said Oreti Beach was a great family beach made even safer by the work of the dedicated lifeguards.
"All the lifeguards are highly trained in first aid and surf lifesaving."
Lifeguard Roman Barrie will wear the distinctive red and yellow uniform for the first time this season and said he was looking forward to being part of the club's proud tradition.
"Rob is one of my closest friends and I have seen how much he enjoys doing what he does. I also lifeguard at the swimming pool and this is just another way of being able to contribute to the community," he said.
Kaka Point Surf Life Saving Club member Lisa Lyall said club members were out in force for the start of their season and there was an especially large turnout from young members.
"It was great to see so many Nippers learning the skills that will make them future surf lifesavers," she said.
Ms Lyall said the club would begin patrols every day just before Christmas, with Kaka Point's population swelling by two or three times during the peak season.
Oreti Beach November 17-March 3 Weekends noon-5pm
Kaka Point November 3-March 10, 2013 - Saturdays noon-5pm - Sundays: 11am-4pm December 20-January 23 Weekdays 11am-6pm
The Southland Times