Lifeguard patrol crop

History of Raglan Surf Lifesaving

Trust Waikato Raglan Surf Life Saving Club started in 1972 when a group of enthusiastic members decided to patrol the Kopua beach. In July 1973 the Raglan Surf Life Saving Patrol was formed, with Ces Gaukrodger as the first president. By February 1974 they has 17 qualified members and 2 instructors.

In those days lifeguards patrolled from a tent each morning on the beach. The equipment was stored in a shed at the wharf and had to be transported to the beach. This made an onerous task more difficult, especially considering the Wainui reserve was farmland at that time and equipment had to be transported down Bryant Home track or 3 km along the beach.

In 1979, before the development of the Wainui Reserve the club put up premises on reserve land adjacent to the harbor entrance. While not the most appropriate location from which to patrol the beach, many a boatie can be thankful for said location of the club, as lifeguards were able to respond quickly to incidents on the bar during this time.

With the development of the Wainui Reserve, it was recognised that in time the surf life saving club would need to relocate and during the planning stage consent was granted for a building to be constructed on the reserve.

In 2001, with erosion occurring on the beach to the extent that at high tide it was not possible to get down the beach due to rock being uncovered, a decision was made to begin the relocation of the club and design work and fundraising began.
Subsequently the official opening of the new club was held in October 2002 and the Mayor of Waikato District Council, Mr Peter Harris, officially declared the current clubrooms open.

Club Life

Being a surf lifeguard can change your life. You are given the chance to make a difference in other peoples’ lives in a range of ways. These may include assisting people which are having difficulty in challenging surf environments, or through providing aid to people when their injuries or illnesses require more care than they are able to provide by themselves. You are given the chance to develop friendships within a team of like-minded people, working to help keep others safe. Some of the relationships formed through a career in surf will be among the most valuable and long lasting of your life, as you grow and learn through a range of challenging experiences.

In addition to the opportunities for individual and team development during patrol, being a member also gives you a range of opportunities outside patrolling hours. You can:

  • Attend first-aid courses and further your education.
  • Compete both regionally and nationally against other lifeguards in lifesaving related sports
  • Interact with other rescue services in the area in complex training scenarios
  • Stay on the beach, accommodated in our purpose built clubrooms
  • Have access to our huge selection of equipment, including kneeboards, surf skis, rescue boats and a surf canoe
  • Apply to be a paid lifeguard (through the Regional Lifeguard Service) and patrol the beach during the week
  • Apply to be a beach education instructor and teach school children about surf safety

You become part of a community where you are constantly learning new things, whether it be about people skills or respect for the ocean. Therefore, a competent fitness level is required in order to perform your lifeguard duties in a proficient manner. You also need to be able to work with a wide range of people, both members of the public and the members within your team.