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International recognition for RCCNZ teamwork

International recognition for RCCNZ teamwork

11 November 2016

The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) has been shortlisted for an international maritime rescue award for its teamwork.

The International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) has shortlisted RCCNZ for the international ‘team’ award for coordinating the rescue of surviving crew-members of the yacht Platino struggling with serious rigging damage in treacherous conditions 550km north-west off New Zealand in June. One of the crew had been killed on the deck and another washed overboard.

RCCNZ Manager, Mike Hill, said the operation included two Royal New Zealand Air Force P3 Orions, the first of which was at the scene within 90 minutes of the distress notification, a commercial fishing boat, and the Singapore flagged container ship Southern Lily, which rescued the yacht’s crew after diverting 320km from its course.

“Being shortlisted is an honour for all our staff at RCCNZ,” Mr Hill said.

“We are responsible for a 30 million square kilometer search and rescue region – one of the biggest in the world, from the mid-Tasman Sea, halfway to Chile, and from the South Pole, almost up to the Equator.

“To cover such a huge area our ‘team’ must be more than only our staff here at the RCCNZ. It includes New Zealand’s emergency services, New Zealand Defence Force, and also the people, ships and aircraft from any country in the world who happen to be in our region, whether they need our help or if they are the ones we will use for search and rescue.

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“It is a big responsibility and part of our country being a good global citizen. We will always do our best to help vessels and aircraft in trouble from any country, and other countries do the same for us.”

The recipients of the 2016 IMRF awards will be announced in Washington DC on November 16 (New Zealand time). Three organisations have been shortlisted for the team award, with the other two being from Spain and the United Kingdom.

Speaking about the awards, IMRF Chief Executive, Bruce Reid, said: “They reflect the range of skills – from leadership and communication to practical search and rescue and life-saving invention – that make this community so special and so vital to prevent loss of life in the world’s waters.”

There are also IMRF awards for: individual, innovation and technology, and, for the first time this year, for outstanding service to maritime search and rescue.

More information about the IMRF and its awards is at http://www.international-maritime-rescue.org


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