Formed in 1935 after what is believed to be the first land to sea rescue when Nurse Hazel Bentham was drowning in the Surf, the Trusts Karekare Surf Lifesaving Club has been patrolling the beach and saving lives ever since.
We are a part of Surf Life Saving New Zealand, which represents 74 clubs across New Zealand. Our small club has one of the longest retentions for members, with many families having two or three generations of lifeguards on the beach. Equally though, we welcome new members to join and be part of the special history of Karekare.
Our skilled lifeguards are actively patrolling the beach from Labour Weekend right through to Easter every year. As volunteers we are only on the beach Saturday and Sunday, however at the height of summer in late December and January we have paid lifeguard service on the beach Monday to Friday.
Our small club is made up of a diverse and friendly group of lifesavers, many coming from all across Auckland. They love the surf and the wilderness of Karekare and they give up countless hours to ensure the beach is safe every summer.
Our lifeguards range in age from 13 when they start training through to 80, our members are “In it for Life ”, We have a good mix of young and old, male and female. We always welcome enquiries by new members and the club offers many opportunities from friendship, camaraderie, learning opportunities and great beach fun including surfing, swimming and fishing.
As Karekare is one of the most dangerous beaches on the West Coast, we organise and run operations to help kids as young as 7 to build their confidence in the surf and understand the surf conditions. Kids can start with Junior Surf, a summer program to ensure kids aged 7-12 years feel safe in the water. At 13 years old, they can move up to being a ‘Rookie’. This is designed to help junior surf members prepare to become Surf lifeguards.
The learning opportunities continue once you are a qualified lifeguard with first aid courses, crew persons training. IRB qualifications, rock modules and camps with other young people to extend your lifeguard skills.
Our environment is challenging, and is always keeping our guards on their toes. But we know everyone has a skill to offer. We have a Patrol Support role which wears a blue uniform, you train just like a lifeguard but without the water component.
If you would like to join the club as a lifeguard, patrol support, junior surf or supporter please get in touch with our Administrator for more details.