East End surf club began patrolling in 1913 from the East End pavilion which was located further to the southwest than where the club is currently situated. The surf club was established to look after the many who would travel to the beach to swim during the summer months and was the most popular place to be all those years ago.
The club has moved with the times from when we use to send out swimmers attached to long lines and drag patients back into shore using reels. Today the club uses modern equipment such as Inflatable Rescue Boats (IRB's), Rescue boards, Rescue tubes and quad bikes etc.
East End beach offers a very low danger to swimmers and surfers due to the beach being so flat, protected by a headland and groups of rock either side of the swimming area. Therefore the area is ideal for family's and elderly to come and enjoy the environment without the fear of being injured by large dumping waves...most of the time.
Of course being on the West coast we are exposed to the odd large storm swell which can wash up into the surf club on the odd occasion. This can add a challenge to patrolling at times but the norm is manageable small waves.
East End Lifeguards patrol from late November until mid March each summer. Volunteers from the club work weekends and put in over 2000 hours every season. Paid lifeguards work weekdays within the school holidays only and are funded from Surf Life Saving New Zealand and local sponsors.
Lifeguards are required to be 14 years old to sit their lifeguard award. This involves tests which include a 400m swim, a tube rescue, a 600m Run Swim Run and many other tests to do with the beach and lifesaving environment including CPR. Lifeguard instructors from
within our club train members in all aspect of the Lifesaving manuals and ensure candidate's are at a high level before they sit their exams.
East End surf club currently has 90 lifeguards who refresh each year to ensure they continue to be current in all aspects of patrolling our beach. All members are required to attend courses such as First Aid and Radio operators awards so that our patrols operate a professional service for the community.
Many hours are spent training in our IRB's as these craft are used for 80% of rescues around New Zealand. To become a Driver you must be 16 years old and train for at least 10 hours on the water to learn basic tasks required of an IRB driver. Currently East End are one of the top IRB Racing club in the country. This is due to the high skill level of our crews and the amount of time put into this area of the club.