Community Volunteer Heroes Honoured: Annual Coastguard Award
Community Volunteer Heroes Honoured At Annual Coastguard Awards
Coastguard volunteers and Units who put their lives on the line for others were honoured at the National Coastguard Awards Gala Evening, held in Taupo on Saturday.
Five awards were presented to individual volunteers and a Coastguard Unit for their outstanding efforts, loyal service and dedication. The awards included: Mitre 10 Coastguard Rescue of the Year, Hutchwilco Coastguard Volunteer of the Year, Coastguard Operational Volunteer of the Year, Coastguard Air Patrol Volunteer of the Year and Coastguard Rescue Vessel Volunteer of the Year.
Coastguard New Zealand CEO, Patrick Holmes, says the annual awards honour the brave individuals and Units who provide a crucial life-saving service to Kiwis using New Zealand waterways.
“Without hard working, passionate and highly-skilled men and women Coastguard could not have safely brought home 7,080 people to their loved ones in the past 12 months. Our volunteers gave over 307,000 hours last year alone and are true community heroes. These awards recognise and reward their dedication but are a small thank you in comparison to the enormous role Coastguard volunteers play.”
The 2013 award recipients include a 20 year veteran volunteer on the West Coast who has become a respected face in his community and a Unit, who with the help of its local community saved two people in a high risk rescue mission.
The South Island was in fact well represented with four awards going to the south. A Southland Air Patrol Volunteer described as displaying long-term support and passion to Coastguard. Mitre10 Coastguard Rescue of the Year was awarded to the South Canterbury Coastguard Unit. And Tony Smith from Clyde was acknowledged for his Operational Volunteer of the Year contribution. While Mark Bolland from the West Coast won the Hutchwilco Coastguard Volunteer of the Year for his more than 20 years’ commitment.
Raglan’s Kevin Dreaver scooped an award for Rescue Vessel Volunteer of the Year.
The gala awards evening, hosted by MCs and RadioLIVE hosts Karyn Hay and Andrew Fagan, was part of Coastguard’s annual conference in Taupo on 13 – 15 September. Conference attendees were delighted with key note speaker scientist, inventor, philanthropist and social entrepreneur Sir Ray Avery GNZM.
Sir Ray Avery’s groundbreaking work for charities in the developing world has brought him respect and recognition internationally. Sir Ray has won numerous awards, including being awarded New Zealander of the Year and the Blake Leadership Medal in 2010. In January 2011 he was appointed a Knight Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to philanthropy.
The conference coincides with the naming of Coastguard New Zealand’s new president Dean Lawrence. Dean has been involved with Coastguard for 25 years, serving on various Coastguard committees and Boards.
Coastguard New Zealand President, Dean Lawrence says, “The calibre of this year’s award winners is exceptionally high and highlights the outstanding service these volunteers and Units give to Coastguard and their local communities. We’d like to take this opportunity to honour and thank all of our volunteers for their continued dedication to saving lives on the water.”
Patrick Holmes Coastguard CEO and one of the four on the judges’ panel says, “This year’s winners demonstrate the Coastguard spirit and values. These volunteers and Units lead by example and are experts in their field. Thank you to all award winners and the entire Coastguard network of volunteers and their families for your tireless hard work and the vital role you play in communities nationwide.”
Coastguard keeps people safe on the coastal waters and lakes of New Zealand. It is made up of over 2,430 highly-trained professional volunteers who put themselves in harm’s way on a regular basis to ensure the safety of New Zealanders nationwide. This year Coastguard’s courageous volunteers brought over 7,080 people safely back to land and devoted over 307,000 hours to saving New Zealanders lives on the water.
There are five categories for the awards:
Volunteer of the Year Mark
Bolland Coastguard West Coast Mitre
10 Coastguard Rescue of the Year Coastguard South
Canterbury Coastguard South
Canterbury Coastguard Operational Volunteer
of the Year Tony Smith Coastguard
Clyde Coastguard Air Patrol Volunteer of
the Year Laurie
Officer Coastguard Southland Air
Patrol Coastguard Rescue Vessel Volunteer
of the Year Kevin Dreaver Coastguard
The individual award recipients each receive a prize that assists in furthering their education, and professional development, within Coastguard.
Mark Bolland, Volunteer of the Year
Committing over 20 years of service to Coastguard, West Coast’s Mark Bolland is a respected fixture in his community. Described by his peers as a ‘strong foundation stone’, Mark carries out his duties with loyalty, dedication and has placed the West Coast Unit in good stead for the future.
The positions he has held include Board Member Coastguard West Coast and Coastguard Southern Region, Safety Officer and part of the Incident Management team. He was instrumental in the Units growth and oversaw the purchase of the West Coast vessel. He also took ownership of the Health Safety of the Unit and vessel. The hours of behind-the-scenes work had made him a worthy recipient of this award.
Coastguard South Canterbury, Rescue of the Year
The team described this mission as a high-risk rescue that showcased the expertise of the Coastguard volunteers and support of the community and partners like the Timaru Port Company. The two people in the distressed yacht were extremely thankful when they were rescued in wind gusts of 40-45 knots and sea swells of three and a half metres. The integrated rescue operation was seamless on the sea and off. The rescue typified the Coastguard spirit of cooperation and keeping people safe on the water.
Tony Smith, Operational Volunteer of the Year
Coastguard Clyde peers said in their nomination of Tony Smith he is a key person who has been instrumental in securing a building to operate out of and a rescue vessel. The hundreds of hours he has invested in Coastguard and his colleagues at a cost to himself, his family and his business is an outstanding example of his passion and commitment. Mr Smith never hesitates to roll up his sleeves if there is a job that needs doing.
Laurie Officer, Air Patrol Volunteer of the Year
Southland Air Patrol’s Laurie Officer has been involved with the Unit for 15 years and it will come as no surprise to his colleagues that he has been honoured at this year’s gala awards. Mr Officer was named Air Patrol Volunteer of the Year for displaying long-term support and passion to Coastguard. He was a founding member of the Coastguard Southland Air Patrol unit in 1998. As President he guided the Unit’s development within the Coastguard framework and has served on the board for 10 years.
Kevin Dreaver, Rescue Vessel Volunteer of the Year
Mr Dreaver’s Coastguard Raglan peers cited not only his unwavering commitment to training himself and others in their nomination but his ability to encourage achievement and mentor others to the highest potential. A 14-year dedication to Coastguard as a volunteer has garnered respect from his fellow volunteers and the Raglan community at large.