Jeremy Corbett: How a $2 donation from each Kiwi could save 1000 lives a year

OPINION: It just wouldn't be a Kiwi summer without a day at the beach.

Sun, surf, sand in your sandwiches and - oh yeah, 5000 volunteer Surf Lifeguards policing the beach and saving 1000 people from dying, every single year.

But unlike police who have an arsenal of staff, equipment and hundreds of millions in Government funding to keep us safe on the streets, for saving 1000 people every year, these guys get (drum roll) zero funding. 

Each year, hat in hand, 74 different Surf Life Saving clubs head out to drum up volunteers, cash or equipment to stay afloat.

But like your mate who refuses to swim between the flags, it's a matter of time before something goes wrong.

"Every individual club has to do their own fundraising... we don't have enough money to support them for that," Surf Life Saving CEO Paul Dalton says.

"The fear we have is less supervision means more chances of people dying."

This may be the only fundraiser where if we don't put money in their tin, people die - and by people I mean you or me, your mum or your kid.

The great Kiwi day at the beach becomes the worst day of your life.

But here's the good news - that doesn't have to happen. If you're not anteing up, that means other Kiwis are doing it for you.

And companies pitch in too - councils and local businesses help buy tools for surf clubs and nationwide, BP runs a month-long fundraiser called 'Every Litre counts'.

Until this Sunday, all fill-ups there put money in Surf Life Saving's tank - hundreds of thousands raised every year.

But, it's not enough.

Lifeguards need at least $10 million every year to keep saving lives - $10 million for 5 million Kiwis.

Time for a Corbett-mandated koha: look around the room, do a headcount. Two bucks a piece. Easy. Done. So do it.

One coin each is literally the difference between life and death.

Jeremy Corbett is one of the hosts of Three's The Project. 

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