Surf lifeguards are skilled, fit individuals aged 14 years or older. Once qualified as a Surf Lifeguard the door to involvement in summer weekend Patrol Teams will open and you can participate in surf competitions (if you choose) and further develop your skills. First aid, driving the inflatable rescue boats (IRB), helicopter and personal watercraft operations, advanced techniques and high-performance athletic endeavour are all options for qualified lifeguards. Many Otaki Surf Lifesaving Club Lifeguards have worked as paid lifeguards over the summer months making good money to do a job that they love and that, for many, would be a dream job.

How do I become a Surf Lifeguard?

To gain your Surf Lifeguard Award you need to be aged 14 or older and be a member of a Surf Lifesaving Club. You will be taught first aid, resuscitation, practical rescue skills and you must complete a 400m pool swim within the time limit. The Club will provide the instruction, training and equipment you need to learn the skills to be ready to sit an exam that tests these skills.

The exam tests both practical and theoretical lifesaving knowledge that you have been taught. Exams are run throughout the summer so as soon as you are ready, you can put your learning to the test. 

Lots of people use the exam as a personal goal for the development of their personal fitness and to learn skills that will help them in all areas of their lives.

Once you have achieved your Surf Lifeguard Award you can become part of a Club Patrol Team and a whole world of opportunities is available to you.  You can continue to develop your Lifeguard skills through first aid courses, programmes to develop your Lifeguard skills or learn to drive the Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB).

Weekend Patrolling

The weekend patrol is the core part of every Surf Lifeguard's role. You¹ve seen the red and yellow flags on the beach, showing the safest place to swim. As a Surf Lifeguard, you¹ll be vigilant and protect the safety of people swimming between the flags and having fun at the beach. As a Lifeguard at Otaki Surf Lifesaving Club, you'll be rostered to spend two weekend afternoons per month at the beach on a Patrol Team. 

Each Patrol team is led by an experienced and senior Lifeguard who will direct the Team and support new Lifeguards in particular.

Why Should I Become a Surf Lifeguard?

There are heaps of reasons:

  • Get fit, healthy, and hang out in the sun at the beach.
  • Contribute to your community and help others enjoy their time at the beach.
  • Learn to drive, maybe even race, the rescue boats (IRBs).
  • Compete in surf competitions.
  • Learn the skills to keep yourself and your family safe, no matter the surf conditions.
  • Meet a bunch of like-minded people who value good clean fun.
  • Develop first aid skills.
  • Become a paid Lifeguard and earn money with your skills.
  • You love the outdoors and a challenge.

For more information, please contact Kirsty Doyle on 021 102 0058 or

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