Surf lifesavers ask public to stay safe and behave as drowning and misbehaviour mount

The country's been cooking on Sunday with many places hitting the high 20s and early 30s - and MetService says there's more to come. 

And while that's great for holidaymakers, the country's lifesavers are hoping everyone will behave, as record crowds head to the beach.

As the warm weather hits Kiwis flock to the beach. But the sunshine also brings a dark cloud. December alone saw 20 drownings - twice as many as the same time the previous year. Lifesavers are pleading with Kiwis to stay safe this summer.

"If you're coming along to a beach which you're not sure of, visit the Safeswim website. Make sure you plan ahead. If you're a little bit uncertain when you get to the beach have a talk with the lifeguard," says Surf Life Saving CEO Matt Williams.

But the problems aren't just in the water, they're on land too. Surf Life Saving has reported a steady flow of disorderly behaviour to police over the New Year period.

The only thing is, police have been overrun themselves and haven't always been able to assist.

Earlier this week lifeguards at a beach in Piha expressed concerns over a male riding a dirt bike recklessly along the beach. He wasn't wearing a helmet and also causing concern to beachgoers.

There was also a brawl involving 10-12 males on Kariaotahi Beach which Surf Life Saving says was intimidating for the patrol. After reporting the incident to police, lifesavers were left waiting almost two hours for help.

"We do everything we can to protect our lifeguards. If we see instances of disorder; car theft, assault, or fights on the beach what we normally do is call police and let them deal with it,"  Williams says.

Police are defending the delays, saying: "Police deploys daily to beaches across Tāmaki Makaurau during the summer months and have additional staff working to carry out prevention patrols."

But they added: "We can't be everywhere all the time."

But with the hot weather expected to stick around for a while everyone will have to be on guard and their best behaviour when they're down at the beach this summer.