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Coastguard Vessels to Contnue Lifesaving work in the South


Coastguard Vessels to Contnue Lifesaving work in the South

As a charity, Coastguard is committed to ensuring the best possible use of every dollar it raises. The weekend of 26 January will bear testament to this commitment when rescue vessels change hands and continue to save lives in local communities.

Coastguard Dunedin will bring into service a new vessel purchased using community funds from Coastguard Waihi Beach in the North Island. The 8.5m Rayglass Protector has served the Waihi Beach community well for many years and was involved in numerous rescues. There was a need in Dunedin for a larger vessel for the often treacherous piece of water that Coastguard Dunedin looks after and this proven vessel would be a good fit for the task. On Saturday 26 January the newly named vessel “Dunedin Rescue” will be dedicated into service in Dunedin.

Lox Kellas, President of Coastguard Dunedin, says that “Since receiving the new vessel prior to Christmas the Unit has been working hard getting familiar with it so we are ready to go operational on 26 January 2013.

“All of the volunteers are impressed with the new vessel which will provide the Coastguard volunteers with greater capability and range for search and rescue in our area of Operation. It will also provide the crew with greater comfort (essential for long rescue missions) but also be more comfortable for those that are rescued.”

In that same spirit of “pay it forward” the now ex-Dunedin vessel, a 6.8m Naiad, will be passed on to one of the newest Coastguard Units in the country – Coastguard Mackenzie Lakes. It will become their first dedicated Coastguard Recue Vessel. She will be a welcome lifesaving asset to protect the inner water ways and lakes in and around Twizel which has a large boating presence especially in the summer months for New Zealanders. Dunedin Rescue will similarly be re-named to reflect the area she is destined to safeguard, becoming “Mackenzie Lakes Rescue”.

Dene Madden, President of Coastguard Mackenzie Lakes says, “This new vessel will give Coastguard Mackenzie Lakes an even higher profile in the local community (a bit like coming of age). Until now we have been using our own vessels and whilst these are good vessels, they are not to the standard for all the different lakes we patrol (eight lakes in total); for instance Lakes Tekapo, Pukaki and Ohau are all open to very high winds with few places to safely get off the lake. The new vessel is capable of riding the very rough waters created by these winds. It means we can operate safely in conditions far more severe than we can now. Safety is what it's all about, not only for those we are rescuing but also for the crews of volunteers we put on the water to help them.”

Coastguard CEO, Patrick Holmes says that “we are delighted to see these life-saving assets being deployed to other areas of need around the country. Raising the funds for a Coastguard rescue vessel is often a two-three year exercise and it’s great to be able to fill a need in other communities in this manner”.

About Coastguard Dunedin
Became a Coastguard Unit in 2006. There are 46 volunteers involved in Coastguard Dunedin. In the year ended June 2012 they were involved in 31 rescue missions and brought 25 people back to safety. These dedicated volunteers gave 2,067 hours of time to the cause.

About Coastguard Mackenzie Lakes
Became a Coastguard Unit in 2011. There are 23 volunteers involved in Coastguard Mackenzie Lakes. For the year ended June 2012 (not a Unit for a full 12 month period) they were involved in nine rescue missions, rescuing nine people. These dedicated volunteers gave 1,646 hours of time to the cause.

ENDS

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