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Coastguard Eastern Region’s 2011 Awards

Coastguard Eastern Region’s 2011 Awards Recognise Local Volunteers

Volunteers from Coastguard Eastern Region’s Taupo, Whakatane, Tauranga and Maketu Units were recognised at the annual awards ceremony today to recognise their efforts in helping to keep New Zealanders safe at sea.

The awards were presented at Coastguard Eastern Region’s Annual General Meeting in recognition of the volunteers’ efforts in helping to keep New Zealanders safe at sea. The ceremony was also held in conjunction with the opening of Coastguard Whangamata’s new Rescue Centre and Boat Shed.

A number of award nominations were received from across the Eastern Region for each category including Volunteer of the Year, Operational Volunteer of the Year, Rescue Vessel Volunteer of the Year, Rescue of the Year and finally the Graeme Murray Memorial Shield for Leadership

Don Scott from Coastguard Lake Taupo won the Volunteer of the Year Award for his involvement across all levels of Coastguard. He has made a significant contribution at both Unit and regional levels with a particular knack for engaging the wider community for project funding support. Within the Unit, Don has been actively involved in developing training and vessel operations procedures and at a regional level, he has been a valuable member of the Operational Committee.

Stephen Clews from Coastguard Whakatane took the Operational Volunteer of the Year Award in recognition of his work with the Unit’s technical projects. He played a key role in the radio communications upgrade and new vessel research and development. Stephen is also a Senior Master actively involved in marine search and rescue. At a Regional level, his input into the Centralised Radio Communications Hub proof of concept has been greatly appreciated.

Peter Donaldson from Coastguard Tauranga won the Rescue Vessel Skipper of the Year Award for his outstanding contribution to rescue vessel crew training and development. Both the Tauranga and Maketu Units have benefited greatly from his contribution. As a current Rescue Vessel Senior Master, Peter spends long hours at Coastguard Tauranga helping to build volunteer capability.

Shane Beech from Coastguard Maketu won the Rescue of the Year Award after a truly heroic rescue. Shane saved the lives of two surfers at the Kaituna River Bar during the Christmas holiday period this year. In extremely dangerous conditions, Shane used a jetski and rescue sled to bring the two casualties ashore. Shane’s single handed efforts undoubtedly saved these men’s lives.

Murray Whitehead from Coastguard Waihi Beach was the recipient on the inaugural Graeme Murray Memorial Shield For Leadership. The Coastguard Eastern Region Board created this award in remembrance of past Regional Manager Graeme Murray who recently passed away. Murray Whitehead’s leadership ability within Coastguard Waihi Beach has not gone unnoticed. Well known and respected by his peers across the Eastern Region, Murray’s focus on ensuring good decision making, forward thinking and positive attitudes has been recognised with this award.

Coastguard Eastern Region salutes the fine efforts of this year’s award winners. They epitomise the strong sense of service that prevails throughout all the Eastern Region Units.

Ends

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