Boaties in the Maraetai area will notice a new look for Coastguard Maraetai as they continue to assist boaties on the water with their new purpose built rescue vessel.
The Unit welcomed Maraetai Rescue One at an official launch event on Saturday which was officiated by the Hon Judith Collins MP.
Operating out of Maraetai Beach, the 9.5 metre Naiad vessel replaces the Unit’s previous rescue vessel, a Rayglass Protector which was donated to Coastguard from the 2003 America’s Cup.
Coastguard Maraetai President, Mark Glover, says that as the Protector aged and became in need of more maintenance, getting a new vessel became a priority.
“Coastguard volunteers risk their lives every day to keep New Zealand boaties safe at sea and they don’t ask a cent for the work that they do, just the right equipment and training that they need to do the job safely.
“Thanks to impressive fundraising efforts and generous donations, Maraetai Rescue One will ensure that our volunteers can not only respond to calls more efficiently, but its high tech equipment will also help to keep them safe on board.
“Our volunteers are thrilled with the new vessel and are already enjoying taking her out on the water and familiarising themselves with the vessel’s capabilities, electronic search tools and layout,” says Mr Glover.
Powered by twin 250HP Yamaha Outboards, Maraetai Rescue One also comes fully equipped with a Radio Direction Finder for tracking distress radio beacons and Marine VHF radio.
It took three years to raise over $550,000 which was needed to build Maraetai Rescue One. Funding for the vessel was made possible by grants and donations from Coastguard New Zealand, Coastguard Northern Region, ASB Community Trust, The Lion Foundation, Pohutukawa Coast Sea Rescue Trust, Banks Laxon, Clevedon Lions, Orere Point Community & Boat Club, Beachlands Business Association and Drury Lions.
“This vessel will serve the community and the boating public for years to come and the Unit is immensely grateful to everyone who has contributed and made this project possible,” says Mr Glover.
The new vessel is an exciting new asset to add to the 32 strong fleet that now supports Coastguard’s marine search and rescue activities around the Northern Region.
Volunteers from Coastguard Maraetai have dedicated a total of over 3,500 hours over the past year to ensure boaties are kept safe at sea. The Unit has responded to more than 62 calls for assistance over the past year, with 133 people assisted to safety.