Five drownings at Auckland beaches within 48 hours

Flowers outside the lifeguard tower at Piha
Flowers outside the lifeguard tower at Piha Photo credit: Newshub


Surf lifeguards in Auckland have pleaded with the public to only swim at lifeguarded beaches during patrol hours.

Five people have drowned in Auckland in less than 48 hours.

Surf Life Saving's northern region chief executive Matt Williams said lifeguards across the region had performed a total of 43 rescues this weekend alone.

It had been a week of unnecessary tragedies along the coast, he said.

"Put it in bold, swim between the flags during patrol hours.

"All of the drownings, all of the tragedies we've seen this week, they've had one thing in common - they had not been at lifeguarded beaches or during lifeguarded hours, and I think that's the key we need to get through."

Two people died at Piha Beach in the west yesterday evening.

They got into trouble in the surf and and could not be revived after being brought unresponsive to shore by lifeguards.

Yesterday morning a person drowned in Takapuna; police have not said whether it was in a swimming pool but have said it was not at a beach.

On Friday afternoon two people died in separate incidents at Narrow Neck Beach and Big Manly Beach, on the North Shore.

An Auckland swim instructor said the number of water-related deaths had shocked her.

Skillz4life managing director Jackie Foster said urgent measures were needed regarding water safety education in primary schools.

"I'm absolutely shocked with the statistics that are coming out at the moment, it's quite concerning and it should be concerning fo the whole country," she said.

"Moving forward, we're surrounded by water and when it comes down to it, we as a country need to start stepping up, I think that the government now needs to start getting involved," she said.

Drownings around the country are being reported at an almost daily rate this summer.