This month, Surf Life Saving and BP celebrate 40 years of partnership.
The sponsorship began following the Wahine disaster in 1968 with BP’s subsidiary Europa donating a new surf boat to Worser Bay Surf Club. The relationship evolved through medical scholarships, Europa Jet Rescue Boats and then through to IRB’s.
BP’s long-term support has enabled Surf Life Saving NZ to develop the most advanced IRB fleet in the world by having one standard type hull and engine used throughout the country.
There are 160 IRB’s sponsored by BP in the 71 surf lifesaving clubs in New Zealand. They are used in more than half of the rescues conducted by surf lifeguards each year.
BP service stations are selling battery-powered toy IRB’s during October, supported by TV advertising.