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Manawatu Coastguard receives lifesaving boost from NZCT

The Manawatu Volunteer Coastguard can replace the outboard motors of its rescue vessel thanks to a recent grant from NZCT.

The $32,000 grant is a significant contribution towards the $49,000 needed for the project. The remainder will be provided by the coastguard and selling the existing outboard motors.

The Manawatu Volunteer Coastguard is based at Foxton Beach and services a long stretch of coastline from Otaki Beach in the south up to Tangimoana in the north. There are many boaties in the area and last year the volunteer crew brought 79 people home safely from 42 incidents on the water.

The NZCT grant is vital to the coastguard maintaining 24-hour marine search and rescue services in the Manawatu region.

“This funding is very important,” says Secretary Trish Huisman. “Without it we would be unable to replace the outboard motors on our primary rescue vessel. We need to be able to go near and far at all times without motor troubles.”

The Manawatu Volunteer Coastguard has 19 crew, including five skippers. Another four crew are training to become skippers. Many of the volunteers live in the Foxton area which makes the crew’s response time very quick. Other volunteers come from as far as Levin and Palmerston North.

“It’s an enjoyable organisation to be a part of,” says Trish. “The crew are supportive of each other and work great as a team. We all enjoy fishing too and most of the crew have their own boat. We love helping out our community and those in need.”

All the volunteers realise the significance of the grant. “The news spread around the crew pretty fast and there were many hugs and high fives. We are so excited the application was successful, and we thank NZCT very much for this kind donation,” says Trish. “It is perfect timing to replace the outboards as the boating season is starting to slow down.”

“NZCT are fantastic. They helped fund our rescue vessel back in 2012. Everyone there is very easy to approach, and the Manawatu Volunteer Coastguard could not do what we do without them.”

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