Council considers another warning sign for Whatipu beach

5:52 pm on 30 December 2018

The Auckland Council says there are signs warning people about the dangers of swimming at a west Auckland beach where a teenager went missing yesterday.

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The sign near Whatipu beach carpark stating that swimming is not advised and that there are strong rips and currents and large waves. Photo: RNZ / Jessie Chiang

Emergency services were called to Whatipu beach near Huia yesterday afternoon after several people got into trouble in the water.

Two women made it back to shore, but search teams are still looking for a 16-year-old boy.

Whatipu is an unpatrolled beach near the entrance to the Manukau Harbour.

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The other existing sign at Whatipu beach. Photo: RNZ / Jessie Chiang

The Auckland Council said there are two signs at the beach warning people that the area is not safe for swimming.

One is at the carpark and another one is at the start of the track to the beach.

Both advise people that the beach is not patrolled by lifeguards, there are large waves, strong rips and currents and that swimming there is not recommended.

The council said it is now considering whether or not to put up a third sign at the end of the track.

Jonty Mills from Water Safety New Zealand said people need to be aware of local conditions and their own abilities and limits before they enter the water.

"Our country's surrounded by coastland, it's very welcoming but can be also very unforgiving, we do have some of the most treacherous waters in the world in relation to rips and currents, so it's certainly really important to have that local knowledge.

"The safest beaches are those that are patrolled by Life Saving New Zealand."