June 29, 2023
Lifeguards replace flood-tainted gear
Surf Lifesaving Hawkes Bay has been overwhelmed by donations to replace gear contaminated during its response to Cyclone Gabrielle.
Co-ordinator Jess Bennett says on the morning after the storm hit she sent out eight boats to rescue people from Esk Valley and other areas.
Over the following days volunteers continued looking for people who were unaccounted for, as well as delivered goods to cut-off communities.
It took a toll on equipment.
“It’s not made for going through silty rivers and all the debris we’re up against in the various floodwaters so there a bit to work through in that space but looking also at what we can equip our individual lifeguards with to replace some of their wetsuits and booties that went through the floodwaters that we can’t seem to wash enough to get decontaminated,” Ms Bennett says.
Surf Lifesaving Hawkes Bay is looking at getting a couple of new inflatable rescue boats and trailers so they have enough for a major disaster, and it will also upgrade its radio equipment including a GPS tracking, because it found cellphones can’t be relied on in storms.