|Title||Piha rescue - 4 years of filming at New Zealand's busiest beach|
|Publication Type||Conference Paper|
|Year of Publication||2007|
|Conference Name||World Conference on Drowning Prevention|
|Publisher||International Life Saving Federation|
|Conference Location||Porto, Portugal|
Ã‚ÂPiha is a high impact, dissipative beach with waves averaging in excess of two (2) metres. The beach faces ‘west south west’, exposing it to the full force of the prevailing wind and swell, generated in the Antarctic Roaring 40’s.
The wave size combines with the fine volcanic sand to produce a low to moderate gradient beach with inner and outetr bars, separated by a deep trough. Strong lateral currents feed into permanent rips on either headland.
Piha is one (1) hour from central Auckland and beach visitation numbers can swell to 5000+ people in summer.
‘Piha Rescue is a high rating and hugely popular reality television programme in New Zealand. It portrays the efforts of both volunteer and professional Surf Lifeguards as they patrol the countries busiest and most high profile beach. When airing, the show rates consistently in the top ten (10) programmes nationally and has extremely high audience share results.
In four (4) years of filming, the Piha Surf Life Saving Club has saved over 900 lives, conducted over 450 first aids and searched for over 75 missing persons. The Piha Rescue crew has captured all of this activity on film.
This visual presentation will provide a snapshot of future resource and research opportunities now available, including (but not limited to):
Witnessed Drowning Process
Piha Rescue filming has captured evidence of a number of people at varying stages of the drowning continuum in a high impact surf environment. In addition to the research and analysis potential, this footage presents an opportunity to create a modern and relevant tool to aid drowning recognition and prevention.
Lifeguard Effectiveness and Competencies
Piha Rescue filming has captured evidence of how lifeguarding actually saves lives. Interesting comparisons between volunteer and professional lifeguarding, lifeguard response times, scanning, fitness/skill levels, patient care and real life resuscitation are areas of potential study.
Public Beach Behaviour
Piha Rescue filming has captured the behaviour and opinions of many beach users. This highlights the huge scope of service and responsibility placed on lifeguards. Multiple cameras enabled the crew to conduct interviews and get comment from many patients, post rescue.
In addition, this presentation will highlight the important role Piha Rescue plays in educating the beach going public in New Zealand.
The continued success of Piha Rescue and its domination in a competitive television time slot has significantly broadened the reach of SLSNZ public education initiatives. These initiatives are driven by a strategy that aims to ‘increase knowledge through quality public education and awareness’. It achieves this by attempting to:
The SLSNZ public education strategy consists of two (2) layers:
The non-traditional form of messaging utilised in Piha Rescue sits firmly in the indirect layer. To deliver a message that will have an influence, the messenger must be credible, respected and recognised as an expert in the field. Building respect for Surf Lifeguards will ultimately increase the reach of the message.
This approach enables media to be utilised to link action - ‘safe swimming behaviour’ - with emotion – the consequences of unsafe behaviour in beach environment. It also highlights that everyday people get into difficulty in the water. This is reinforced through well constructed clips and messages played to the public as the show rolls out to an advertisement break.
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