SUMMER has arrived early this year, with several beach-type days already.
Beach-goers will notice the iconic red and yellow uniforms are back on the weekends as the Hunter volunteer surf lifesavers return from their winter hiatus.
They may only patrol beaches from 9am until 5pm on weekends, but their presence is more widely felt by the community.
As volunteers, they run training programs for 10,000 school-aged children every year, as well as coaching their junior members.
In the 2012/13 financial year, Hunter lifesaving volunteers clocked up 67,694 patrol hours and performed 179 rescues.
One hundred Hunter surf lifesavers will also attend the opening ceremony of the 2013 Special Olympics, in Newcastle in December.
Nobbys Surf Life Saving Club, along with 12 other clubs along the region's coast, opened their doors last weekend to signal the start of a new surf season.
Nobbys 650 junior and active members will be trained in surf safety, CPR and fitness until April.
Hunter clubs will be part of a statewide open day this Sunday, September 29, with information sessions and demonstrations.
Registration books will also open on the same day, with new members required to show their birth certificates.
■ Go to huntersurf lifesaving.asn.au for more information on registration, or to find out about an open day.