18 October 2018
Mount Maunganui lifeguards can barely contain their excitement over the surf lifesaving season, which starts this weekend, and the impending finish of their new purpose-built clubrooms.
With the completion of the 11-month build still on the horizon, plus a last-minute delay in opening the basement, the club’s voluntary patrols will operate out of containers and portacoms for the first few weeks of the season.
And helping get them over the line have been local business, including Mount Maunganui Beachside Holiday Park, SEA Containers NZ and long-term surf lifesaving supporters McLeod Cranes.
“Our contractors have done superbly, getting the basement floor near-completion, but we had a hitch with the external works to upgrade the pump station in front of the new club,” Project Manager, Vicki Ostler explained. “It just means we’ve kicked off our contingency plans and, thanks to the local businesses and our staff and lifeguard committee, we’ll be fully operational and hitting the ground running on Saturday. As far as the public are concerned, it will be business as usual.” said MMLS chairman Paul Manning.
McLeod Cranes were on site early this morning, lifting the temporary facilities into place; the two portacoms will operate as a lifeguard base and first aid room, while the containers will be used to store IRBs and other vital lifesaving equipment.
SEA Containers have also donated the use of six other containers, some of which are housed in the Beachside Holiday Park grounds, for storage of training and support equipment until the new building is finished.
Lifeguards are expecting a busy beach over the holiday weekend, although that may not extend too far into the briny.
“The dreaded spring westerlies have hit and it means the water is probably more suited to a bracing dip than a leisurely bathe,” opening weekend patrol captain Julia Conway said. “It also means we shouldn’t have much of a swell this weekend, although those winds can still cause tricky currents and can snatch anything inflatable out to sea pretty quickly. Our core safety messages still remain - swim between the flags, keep an eye on younger swimmers and feel free to pick the brains of your nearest lifeguard - we’re there to help.”