Waihi Beach lifeguards devastated after hooligans throw KFC at them, vital items stolen in tower break-in

The stolen items included a first-aid kit, high-quality waterproof binoculars and a 12 volt chilly bin.
The stolen items included a first-aid kit, high-quality waterproof binoculars and a 12 volt chilly bin. Photo credit: Facebook// Waihi Beach Surf Lifesaving Club

Lifeguards at Waihi Beach are "very disappointed" after their lifeguard tower was broken into and several items were stolen.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Waihi Beach Surf Lifesaving Club posted: "We arrived to patrol Monday morning (16/1) to find that someone had broken into our lifeguard tower by levering the window open, stealing our first-aid kit, high-quality waterproof binoculars, 12volt chilly bin (storing lifeguards' water bottles & food) and a small gas cooker."

In the same Facebook post, the lifeguards also expressed their devastation after a group of young scallywags threw their KFC at them and their vehicle while they were driving along the road.

The takeaway-throwing occurred on January 2, 2023, at 5:50pm when the lifeguards were changing over and driving their beach UTV (ultra terrain vehicle) along the road.

"Our international guard was hit in the head with food, and other guards were splattered," the lifeguards said in the Facebook post.

The people who deliberately threw the greasy chicken at the lifeguards were driving a "white/grey" ute that was towing a boat, they said.

Surf Life Saving NZ's Eastern Region lifesaving manager Chaz Gibbons-Campbell told Newshub the people who threw the KFC were "just some silly buggers".

He was also outraged about the items being stolen and said, "How can a community do this?"

Gibbons-Campbell told Newshub they have reported the stolen items to police but are willing to drop the charges if people drop off the items to them.

"Please just drop it down to the Waihi Beach Club."

He also said the majority of the lifeguards are volunteers and are there to keep the community safe.

On Wednesday, a police spokesperson told Newshub in a statement: "Police received a report of a burglary at a premises on Seaforth Road which occurred sometime on 16 January. Police received the report on 17 January. Police are in the initial phase of an investigation."

Gibbons-Campbell added "99 percent of people are good" when interacting with the lifeguards, but a small group are "silly buggers".

In Waihi Beach Surf Lifesaving Club's Facebook post, they said they don't understand the reasons behind these incidents and would like the people involved to be "called to task so they don't cause an accident next time they are being stupid".

The Facebook post also asked anyone who knows of anything about the stolen items or those who threw the KFC to come forward and contact them.

"We are here to help keep everyone safe at the beach and a sector of the public thinks it is funny to disrespect our amazing lifeguards. Any help is greatly appreciated, thank you."