As temperatures increased across the country on Sunday, so too did the number of rescues performed by surf lifeguards.

Nationally, 22 rescues were carried out over the weekend as large numbers of people flocked to beaches to make the most of warmer weather before returning to work.

Surf Life Saving New Zealand’s chief operations officer Chris Emmett said 42 of the 44 assists needed by surf lifeguards over the weekend were on Sunday.

Emmett said lifeguards performed “incredibly well” as some beaches attracted thousands of beachgoers in a single day.

Surf lifeguards at Ōmaha surf club reported 1400 beach users at 4pm, the highest in the Northern Region.

Similar numbers were at Oriental Bay, with Maranui Surf Life Saving Club surf lifeguards reporting 1300 beach users at 3pm.

Mt Maunganui surf club had the busiest day in the Eastern Region — at one point, having more than 1400 people on the beach.

Encounters with blue bottle jellyfish continued to require first-aid attention, with nine swimmers at Auckland’s Bethells Beach treated for stings on Sunday.

Emmett encouraged members of the public to check www.safeswim.org.nz to find a life guard-patrolled beach and “always swim between the red and yellow flags, which show the safest place to swim”.

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