Busy time for Ti­tahi Bay club

Stay­ing safe this sum­mer

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

Nick Mulc­ahy gets a bit antsy at this time of year.

The di­rec­tor of life­sav­ing at Ti­tahi Bay Surf Life Sav­ing Club has spent half his life pa­trolling beaches in sum­mer.

He has been with the Ti­tahi Bay club since 2007 and said he en­joyed the com­fort­able feel and team spirit there.

‘‘You do this be­cause it’s a com­mu­nity ser­vice,’’ he said.

‘‘You’re help­ing to keep the beach as safe as pos­si­ble, be­cause it can be a haz­ardous place.

‘‘ The club looks af­ter its mem­bers and the com­mu­nity and we’re well-known in com­pe­ti­tions as well, so we hope to keep that go­ing this sum­mer.’’

Univer­sity stu­dent Al­bert Ala­p­ati drowned at Ti­tahi Bay in Jan­uary 2012, af­ter be­ing caught in a rip.

It was an ex­am­ple that even the most docile-look­ing wa­ter could be dan­ger­ous, Mulc­ahy said.

Fifty life­guards will pa­trol Ti­tahi Bay Beach in shifts of four on week­ends un­til the end of March.

Re­gional life­guards will share du­ties at peak pe­ri­ods.

Al­though Mulc­ahy has plenty of re­spon­si­bil­i­ties in the com­ing months, he hoped to get some time on the sand, too.

‘‘I love be­ing out there. It’s easy to see the pas­sion and fun peo­ple have for the wa­ter in the Bay.’’

It’s been a busy year for the surf club, with Nip­pers mem­bers con­tin­u­ing to grow and the 75th ju­bilee over Labour Weekend.

The club has a new $ 16,000 in­flat­able res­cue boat, thanks to Mana Com­mu­nity Grants, and is look­ing to again dom­i­nate surf­boat and beach com­pe­ti­tions.

‘‘The ju­bilee was a big high­light,’’ club com­mit­tee mem­ber Rachel Jones said.

‘‘ We had 180 peo­ple in Te Rau­paraha Arena and the feed­back was great.

‘‘It capped off a big year and showed that we’re go­ing from strength to strength.’’

Nip­pers’ co- or­di­na­tor Peter Jones said there was a wait­ing list to join the pro­gramme and many of the Nip­pers’ par­ents were be­com­ing more in­volved with the club.

Kerry De­laney and Karl Camp­bell have re­cently been made life mem­bers of the club.

Wil McDow­ell, Jono Boyd, Jor­dan Te Paa, Dean El­lis and Nick Boyd will form the se­nior men’s surf­boat crew this year.

Find a beach that is pa­trolled.

Lis­ten to the ad­vice of life­guards. Ask them if un­sure about beach con­di­tions.

Keep a close eye on chil­dren in the wa­ter.

Swim be­tween the flags.

Look out for rips — they are calm patches of wa­ter that can some­times have waves break­ing to the side. Ti­tahi Bay has three, at the south­ern and north­ern ends, and an area in the mid­dle.

Life­guards will be on Ti­tahi Bay Beach from noon till 5pm on week­ends un­til March 30.

Re­gional life­guards will top up the vol­un­teers from Dec 16 till Jan 24, from 11.30am till 6pm.

Photo: KRIS DANDO

Ready to go: Ti­tahi Bay Surf Life Sav­ing Club’s Nick Mulc­ahy has his life­guards pre­pared for a (hope­fully) long, hot sum­mer.

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