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New Coastguard Rescue Vessel to assist Northland boaties


New Coastguard Rescue Vessel to assist Northland boaties

Boaties on the east coast of Northland will soon be safer on the water as Coastguard launches a new, purpose built Rescue Vessel at Whangaroa.

Coastguard Whangaroa’s new Rescue Vessel – with the local name of Kahurangi, ‘Jewel of the North’ – is due for launch at a public blessing ceremony at the Whangaroa Marina on Saturday 8 October, at 2pm.

Support from the community has been crucial in getting the new 11.2m, custom-built rigid-hulled inflatable rescue vessel across the line. It has taken five years of planning and fundraising to get to this stage, with over $125,000 of the vessel’s funding coming from community donations, donors and Unit reserves. Funding for the over $750,000 vessel was also made possible by grants from Foundation North, the Lottery Grants Board, Pub Charity, Trillian Trust and the Oxford Sports Trust.

The new vessel was commissioned to replace the aging existing vessel, which was donated to Coastguard Whangaroa in mid-2012 after over a decade’s service with another Northland Coastguard Unit. To complement the new vessel, extensive volunteer recruitment and training has been undertaken to increase the number of skilled wet crew volunteers, ensuring the Unit can continue to respond to incidents 24 hours a day.

Coastguard Whangaroa President Bob Kidd says, “The Whangaroa region swells in summer with an influx of visitors from across the country, resulting in large numbers of boaties on the water. The new Coastguard vessel has been custom designed for the needs of the area and to cope well with the often-treacherous conditions off the Northland coast.”

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Built by Smuggler Marine of Henderson, Auckland and powered by dual 260HP engines, Whangaroa Rescue was custom designed for the conditions in Northland, and will be much more capable than its predecessor.

“The end result is that boaties in this popular boating spot can rest assured that Coastguard will have their back should they ever run into trouble,” Mr Kidd said.

Coastguard Northern Region CEO Callum Gillespie is delighted to see this project come to life, enhancing the Coastguard fleet in the Far North. “Whangaroa Rescue is an exciting new vessel to add to the 26-strong fleet that now supports Coastguard’s marine search and rescue activities around the Northern Region.”

“This vessel will serve the Northland boating community and the public for years to come, and the team is immensely grateful to everyone who has contributed to get Whangaroa Rescue launched,” said Mr Gillespie.

Volunteers from Coastguard Whangaroa attended 41 incidents since January 2015, ranging from mechanical difficulties to full blown emergencies, ensuring dozens of boaties have been brought back to safety.

“The Coastguard Whangaroa team look forward to being able to continue to give back to the community, by providing this vital rescue service” says Mr Kidd.


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About Coastguard Northern Region:
Coastguard is the charity that provides New Zealand’s primary maritime search and rescue service. The organisation operates a network of four regions and 71 affiliated units, located around the coastline and major lakes of New Zealand. Coastguard’s Northern Region covers the area from Thames across to the Mokau River and everything north and is based at the Auckland Marine Rescue Centre (AMRC) in Mechanics Bay. Last year the Operations Room at the AMRC received almost 110,000 VHF marine radio calls.

Coastguard’s Northern Region does more than just daring rescues at sea. Generations of dedicated people have established an organisation that provides a wealth of services to every person using our harbours and beaches:

- Providing a 24 hour a day, 365 days a year service.
- Maintaining and operating a regional VHF radio network that enables Coastguard and boaties to share information and coordinate incident responses.
- Installing and maintaining buoys and beacons to make recreational boating safer.
- Providing a 24 hour continuous weather forecast via marine radio.
- Logging trip reports from any vessel able to make radio contact.
- Providing a range of boating education courses to ensure that boaties have a sound knowledge of their boats and the ‘rules of the road’ at sea.

Coastguard’s Northern Region Maritime School gives boaties the skills they need for a safe and enjoyable time on the water. They have a range of theory-based and practical (RYA) courses available. These are aimed at encouraging people to get to know the boating rules and regulation whilst gaining the skills and experience to keep safe.


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