Taranaki Triathlon Club call off event because no lifeguards available to monitor race

The Taranaki Triathlon Club had to call off their Splash n' Dash event this week because there were no lifeguards available.
ANDY JACKSON/Fairfax NZ

The Taranaki Triathlon Club had to call off their Splash n' Dash event this week because there were no lifeguards available.

A Taranaki duathlon event had to be canned this week because there were no lifeguards available.

The Ngamotu Splash and Dash six-race series, which is run by the Taranaki Triathlon and Multisport Club, was cancelled on Wednesday because the lifeguard normally used suddenly became unavailable and others were unable to take on the task at short notice.

Rather than risk running the event without ticking all the health and safety boxes the event was cancelled, club president Ross Dingle said. 

In the last few years, the club's water safety supervision had escalated to needing a "full on event management plan", he said. 

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"It costs about $400 [to have the plan approved] which we struggle to recover through entry fees for the race." 

The application is lodged with Surf Lifesaving New Zealand who then puts the event organisers in touch with a local surf lifesaving club. 

Dingle said to avoid health and safety concerns and costs there was a possibility that in coming years the swim course would be contained to water no deeper than chest height. 

While it was a decision that was a long way off Dingle said it wouldn't detract from the event. 

"As long as your hands aren't touching the bottom, you're swimming aren't you?" 

On the Ngamotu Splash n' Dash Facebook page on Tuesday, the organisers put out a call for anyone with surf lifesaving experience to get in touch about helping out with the remaining three events on January 25, February 8 and February 22. 

It read: "Hi all, it brings us great disappointment to inform you that tomorrow night's Splash n Dash event at Ngamotu Beach is cancelled. 

"Due to unforeseen circumstances we are unable to get surf lifesaving support and therefore for your safety we are not prepared to go ahead without.

"As we look ahead to the remainder of the series we ask anybody with surf lifesaving experience or any parents interested in helping to please make contact with Karli (karli@sporttaranaki.org.nz) to ensure the remaining three events can continue for your enjoyment. We appreciate your support." 

 - Stuff

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