For many Kiwis, summer is a time to kick back, relax and soak up the amazing weather as they make the most of holidays and the long weekends.
Unfortunately, it’s also becomes a busy time for emergency services and the rescue helicopters around the country as more people venture out and about.
With this in mind, we asked some of the Rescue Helicopter Trusts for 10 safety tips to stay safe over the summer holiday period.
1) Stay alert while driving.
Don’t drive if you are feeling tired. Take a break. Pull over or have another driver take the wheel.
2) Be responsible when driving.
Be road wise. Don’t drink and drive, don’t text and drive. Keep your eyes on the road, stick to the speed limit and make sure everyone’s buckled in safe.
3) Always wear a life jacket.
Jackets should be worn when you're out on the water or when fishing from rocks.
4) Use common sense when in the water – don’t overdo it.
Swim between the flags, and don’t swim in calm areas – this might be a rip current which can pull you out to sea. If in doubt, stay out!
5) Protect your cell phone.
Put it in a zip lock bag if you’re out on the water or if the weather isn’t looking too flash.
6) Don’t swim or surf alone.
Take a mate with you so you can look out for each other.
7) Make sure someone else knows where you are.
Keep someone in the loop if you’re out on the water, swimming, walking or hiking in remote areas.
8) Don’t turn your back on the sea.
Freak waves can happen at any time and have you winding up in the water!
9) Wear sensible clothing.
Gumboots and big woollen jackets don’t do much to help keep a person afloat.
10) Have a plan and be prepared if you or a loved one have a medical condition.
Make sure you are prepared if you take a turn for the worse, particularly if going on holiday. Have enough medication to last you through the vacation. Know where the local medical centre is, and know where you can get cell phone reception should you need urgent assistance.