Northland rookie lifeguards looking to take up the mantle of fully qualified guards came together over the weekend for a groundbreaking training camp.

It was the first time four of the region’s surf lifesaving clubs – Waipū Cove, Ruakākā, Whangārei Heads, and Mangawhai Heads – had joined forces to deliver a camp for young guards.

Thirty-two teenagers took part in activities that included learning the art of rock rescues in the swell, providing first aid and CPR, rescue techniques using tubes and rescue boards.

Thirty-two rookie lifeguards from four Northland clubs put themselves to the test during the first-ever joint training camp for the young guards. 

Training went beyond surf lifesaving and into protecting the beach environment. The rookie guards learnt how to trap pests and ways to protect endangered Fairy Terns.

They also absorbed a wealth of knowledge about weeding the sand dunes and planting more spinifex and pīngao.

Waipū hosted the camp, with club captain Kath Manning dubbing it “a big success”.

“We even had dolphins join us while we were doing rock training,” she said.