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More Support For Search And Rescue Needed

02 December 2004

More Support For Search And Rescue Needed

New Zealand First MP Brent Catchpole is again calling for increased funding of marine search and rescue.

“This essential service is dramatically under funded and relies too heavily on donations and voluntarily raised income,” he said.

Whilst noting that the new amendments provide for improved co-ordination of search and rescue organisations, Mr Catchpole identified training needs as being sadly under funded.

“Funding is essential to ensure the volunteer crews are fully trained to provide the most effective support for the new Search and Rescue Co-ordination Centre,” said Mr Catchpole.

“The fact funding of fuel costs is only met under rescue situations and that search and rescue organisations have to beg for the costs of training is deplorable.

“The professionalism of the volunteers involved in local search and rescue operations is to be commended, but it is not fair to expect them to continue without more funding.

“The safety of the volunteers and those being rescued depend on the crews having the proper support and training,” Mr Catchpole concluded.

ENDS


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