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Appointment of experienced Naval Officer to head Op Team


Coastguard Northern Region, the charity saving lives at sea, has appointed Robert McCaw, an experienced Royal New Zealand Navy officer, as its new Head of Operations.

Coastguard Northern Region’s Operations Team manage its Operations Centre in Mechanics Bay, and coordinate responses by the region’s 24 rescue vessel and air patrol units. Last year the Centre received 115,000 Trip Reports from boaties and coordinated responses to 2,121 calls for help, ensuring 5,407 people made it home safely.

Callum Gillespie, CEO of Coastguard Northern Region said, “It’s amazing to reflect on the fact that Coastguard is predominantly powered by volunteers, supported by a small team of permanent staff. We’ve recently been looking at how we can improve the support to our volunteers and also find ways to continually improve our operational performance. We’ve taken the bold step of creating a single role that will be accountable for both the over-arching performance of our Operations Centre, and for the support and coordination that we provide to our life-saving Rescue Vessel and Air Patrol teams.”

Of Mr McCaw’s appointment, Mr Gillespie said, “we sought a candidate with a highly credible maritime background and outstanding strategy and leadership credentials to lead our Operations Team. As such, we’re thrilled to recruit a candidate of Rob’s calibre.”

Mr McCaw’s previous role was as Executive Officer of the Royal New Zealand Navy frigate HMNZS TE KAHA and has held a number of key roles within Navy. He is an Associate Fellow of the Nautical Institute, holds a Master of Science in Technology degree from Kingston University and Diplomas in Strategic and Defence Studies and Business (Leadership & Management). Robert has also had the distinction of having commanded both the Royal New Zealand Navy’s Offshore Patrol Vessels, HMNZ Ships Wellington and Otago, leading a myriad of operations including multiple Antarctic patrol periods.

Mr Gillespie said, “As an organisation, Coastguard is in great health but with such a vital mission we’re determined to keep improving. With this appointment we will continue to build on the existing success of our operations, to ensure the safety of those on the water.”


ABOUT COASTGUARD

Coastguard is the charity saving lives at sea. We provide New Zealand’s primary maritime search and rescue service through 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 nearly 115,000 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 day-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 and the Coastguard app.
• 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.

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