Coastguard NZ responding to record number of search and rescues

Coastguard New Zealand is the busiest it's been in years with record numbers of maritime search and rescue operations.

It says it's due to the warm weather but it wants those heading out on the water to be more prepared. 

If it wasn't for members of the public calling Coastguard paddle boarder Max Haddon could've run into much more trouble.

He said he was picking up his friend's floating orange rubber boat but things went wrong when he strapped it to his paddleboard and was dragged out so sea. 

He knew it wasn't the most sensible thing to do.

"It was quite scary," he told Newshub. 

"It's a little bit embarrassing, not going to lie. My friends will definitely get a talking to from me and mum."

Coastguard says Mr Paddon was at least 500 metres from shore and he's lucky he didn't end up smashed on rocks with hypothermia - or even worse. 

Coastguard says The Hauraki Gulf, Bay of Islands and the Coromandel are where most people run into trouble and it's been one of the busiest seasons yet.

On December 28, they received the highest number of calls in one day in seven years. 

In December they had 300 jobs, Coastguard Duty Officer Hemi Manaena says.

And it's only going to get busier.

"The summer we've found is getting longer and we're busier through until at least April."

If you are heading out on the water this summer, Coastguard says it's important to wear a fitted life jacket and to get it serviced once a year.

They say it's also important to file a trip report which you can do via its app so if you do run into trouble they know exactly where you are.

And Mr Haddon has one last piece of advice for others thinking about heading out into the water. 

"Make sure you can get back. It can be a little scary. There is Coastguard but they might not be able to find you."

Meanwhile, Surf Life Saving has been pulling dozens of people to safety on some of their most dangerous beaches.

On Saturday alone, 26 people were rescued and 14 were assisted by lifeguards in the northern region.