Samoan Lifeguard on lifeguard duties
Samoan lifeguard in New Zealand, John Tuia, has urged Pacific communities to be cautious around the water this summer as the Pasifika community has the highest records of beach drowning rate over the last 10 years in New Zealand.
The twenty-three-year-old recalled his first rescue back in 2014 as he prepares for patrol season starting in central Wellington this weekend.
"That was in Waipu Cove, up North and there was this lady who and they were just getting dragged out to sea by a rip, and I hopped on the board really quick, got out there and pretty much just pulled them back to safety," he told Tagata Pasifika
"And that was a real moment of adrenaline."
He encouraged Pacific communities on the safest place to swim which is in between the flags where lifeguards can look out for the children.
"It is much safer to swim at a beach where there are flags and patrolled areas and just keep an eye on your kids," Mr Tuia added
"Because the moment you turn your back, they're off doing something else."
According to Tagata Pasifika, Pacific Communities have had the most fatal drowning at beaches in New Zealand over the last ten years where the majority of those drowning were men.
They were either out fishing on the rocks, collecting shellfish or fishing on a small boat or kayak all in the efforts to provide for their families.
Mr Tuia advised to always wear shoes that have a grip at the bottom when swimming where the rocks are. He went on to say that he's seen people wear gumboots instead and had advised against it.
He also advised to shout for help when there's no one in sight and advised not to jump in the deep waters if one can not swim as it would not help anyone.