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Coastguard Thanks Volunteers for Year Round Effort

MEDIA RELEASE
19 JUNE 2012


Coastguard Thanks Volunteers for Year Round Effort


To celebrate Volunteer Awareness Week (17-23 June), Coastguard New Zealand is acknowledging the hard work and dedication of its 2,427 volunteers who rescued 6,239 Kiwis in the past year.

Since July 2011, Coastguard volunteers have contributed a combined total of 324,927 hours to help save lives at sea – rescuing an average of 19 people per day.

Coastguard New Zealand CEO Patrick Holmes says, “The dedication and hard work of Coastguard’s volunteers, both on and off the water, is a true credit to the organisation and I am constantly amazed at the commitment our people make each and every day to saving lives at sea.

“Coastguard would not be what it is today without the hard work, passion and skills of the men and women who give up their time and risk their lives to ensure boaties are kept safe on New Zealand waters. Coupled with that is the patience and understanding of their spouses and partners who support our volunteers, allowing them to make this enormous commitment.

“Many people don’t realise that our volunteers also contribute a great deal of their time off the water, helping their local Units raise funds so that they can continue to best serve their community and the kiwis who love to boat,” he says.

Coastguard volunteers require extensive practical training, both in the water and on land, to ensure they can respond to each call for help with speed and accuracy. Coastguard’s annual MayDay appeal is just one way in which the charity helps to raise funds for its ‘Train One- Save Many’ programme.

“Though their efforts are invaluable, our volunteers never ask for a cent for the time they dedicate to keeping New Zealander’s safe on the water and I’m proud to be leading such an inspiring team of individuals,” says Mr Holmes.

Coastguard has had a busy 12 months welcoming a new CEO to the helm, adding two new Coastguard units to the fold (Mackenzie Lakes and Wanaka Lakes), launching three new rescue vessels, refurbishing several other rescue vessels and adding a new a fixed wing aircraft to the Air Patrol fleet.

For more information about Coastguard New Zealand or to make a donation, visit www.coastguard.co.nz

-ends-

Note to Editors:
• 2,427 volunteers are currently involved with Coastguard throughout New Zealand
• 324,927 hours of volunteer time nationwide has been given to Coastguard from July 2011 to May 2012. From July 2010 to May 2011 that number was 319,679
• It costs $34.30 per week to train each Coastguard volunteer
• Over the last year, 3,337 people called Coastguard for help (that’s 10 per day)
• On top of that, Police called on Coastguard volunteers 441 times
• 6,239 people were rescued by Coastguard volunteers from July 2011-May 2012 (an average of 19 per day)


About Coastguard
Coastguard is the charity that provides New Zealand’s primary maritime search and rescue service. The organisation operates from a network of four regions and 71 affiliated units, located around the coastline and major lakes of New Zealand. Coastguard New Zealand is a volunteer organisation with a charitable status. It has more than 18,000 supporter members and 2,224 active Professional Volunteers who provide around 350,000 hours of their time each year to educate, protect and help save lives at sea. Coastguard performs over 3,000 rescues each year assisting almost 7,000 New Zealanders. There are currently 72 dedicated rescue vessels in Coastguard New Zealand’s fleet, 10 air patrol units and one dedicated communications unit. All crew members on board Coastguard vessels and air patrol craft are trained search and rescue personnel working to enhance the safety of all New Zealanders when they participate in boating and water activities.

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