Monday 3 September, 7.30pm
Piha is the one of the busiest surf beaches in New Zealand. Thousands of visitors flock here every summer to enjoy the sun, sand, surf, and wild terrain. But many of these people are caught unaware by the silent dangers at Piha – the rips, waves and rocks. Filmed with several water and beach cameras, the fourth series of ‘Piha Rescue’ once again brings the action from the beach right into viewers’ living rooms (tonight on TV ONE at 7.30pm).
Being a lifeguard at Piha takes physical and mental strength, good people skills, quick reactions in dangerous situations and the ability to cope with extreme levels of stress. The majority of lifeguards at Piha are volunteers, donating their time to the community, but the rescues often take them well above and beyond the call of duty.
Sunset is often a tense time of day at Piha, especially when several boat crews are out desperately searching for a swimmer. While everyone else heads home for the evening, the lifeguards don wetsuits and race to locate swimmers – before they drown.
Lifeguard Greg Wilson says, “Finding a swimmer out beyond the breakers at dusk is like looking for a needle in a haystack. But we’re compelled to find that swimmer – it’s in our blood, our lifeguard creed. That’s why we don’t often get to pack up patrol until well into the evening.”
‘Piha Rescue’ also features the Piha surfboat crews, who bravely tackle waves the size of houses – and survive, but not without risking life, limb and boat.
The lifeguards at Piha act with passion and believe they can make a difference – and they do. They are local heroes who give up their spare time for no financial incentive, only satisfaction in a job well done and an intangible obligation to help the people who visit their beach. Going to the beach is part of the Kiwi culture but the water demands respect. ‘Piha Rescue’ offers lessons in water safety, as well as high-action rescues and human drama.
On the first episode tonight, the lifeguards at Piha desperately try to reach a motionless person who is laying face-down on rocks in front of Camel Rock.