Coastguard New Zealand is launching its inaugural MayDay fundraising appeal on Sunday 1 May and is calling on Kiwis to show their support for the charity and its many volunteers.
Running for two weeks until Sunday 15 May, all donations made during MayDay will be invested in supporting Coastguard’s critical volunteer programme ‘Train one – save many’.
Coastguard volunteers play a critical role in the charity’s ongoing mission to save lives at sea. Each individual requires extensive practical training, both in the water and the air, to ensure they can respond to each call for help with speed and accuracy.
Coastguard relies on the funding support of the New Zealand public to continue the valuable work it does to keep Kiwis safe on the water and to help fund the crucial education initiatives needed to train each volunteer.
Commencing on the day historically celebrated as May Day, the name of the campaign also references the well-known distress signal used by boaties around the world when calling for help.
Bruce Reid, CEO of Coastguard New Zealand, hopes that New Zealanders will dig deep during the MayDay appeal and recognise the valuable service that Coastguard and its many volunteers provide.
“Our volunteers give so much of their personal time to help keep New Zealanders safe on the water. We hope that MayDay will help raise the profile of the outstanding contribution they make every day.
“We also hope the MayDay appeal will help raise the necessary funds to give them the unwavering training and support they need to do their job safely while out on the water.”
Mark Harnett (35), has been volunteering at Coastguard North Shore for ten years, and is drawn back every year by the satisfaction of helping to provide a much needed service to the community.
Over the past decade, Mark has invested almost 1,800 operational hours on the water, averaging about 200 hours each year.
“I get to work alongside some truly admirable Kiwis who are so passionate about keeping our fellow countrymen safe on the water.
“Coastguard volunteers are often the first on the scene when responding to calls, play a key role in search and rescues so we are working in sometimes dangerous and emotionally draining rescue operations.
“Having the resources to be trained to deal with these situations both as they happen, and afterwards, is crucial so the MayDay appeal is a great way to raise awareness of how important it is to have this support,” he says.
Look out for MayDay collectors on the street between 1-15 May or make a donation by:
· Going online at www.coastguard.co.nz
· Make an automatic $25 donation by calling 0900 SOS SOS (0900 767 767)
· Direct into the Coastguard ASB Account 12-3209-0434030-01 (Please reference with MayDay and your SURNAME)
Note to Editors:
· 2,268 volunteers are currently involved with Coastguard throughout New Zealand
· 239,835 hours of volunteer time has been given to Coastguard from July 2010 to March 2011. From July 2009 to June 2010 that number was 347,657
· It costs $34.30 per week to train each Coastguard volunteer
· Last year 3,622 people called for help from Coastguard (that’s 10 per day)
· On top of that Police called on Coastguard volunteers 843 times
· 6,560 people were rescued by Coastguard volunteers last year (an average of 17 people every day).
· Three people are rescued by every Coastguard volunteer each year
· 83 per cent of Coastguard volunteers are male and 17 per cent of Coastguard volunteers are female
· Peter Bradley from Sumner is Coastguard’s current longest serving volunteer with 46 years under his belt
· Some past volunteers had been involved with Coastguard for over 50 years!