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Fine Weather Keeps Coastguard Volunteers Busy

Press Release – Coastguard

Coastguard is reminding boaties to be vigilant after responding to a high spate of distress calls in recent days due to the fine weather enticing Kiwis onto the water.January 25th 2012

Fine Weather Keeps Coastguard Volunteers Busy

Coastguard is reminding boaties to be vigilant after responding to a high spate of distress calls in recent days due to the fine weather enticing Kiwis onto the water.

Since Saturday, Coastguard’s Northern Region has put their training to the test after responding to 43 incidents ranging from medical emergencies to boats running aground.

Last night, Coastguard’s Communications and SAR Response centre were alerted to two separate distress situations.

Coastguard’s Auckland unit responded to a medical incident off Browns Island where a female patient had a dislocated thumb and suspected broken arm. Coastguard volunteers stabilised her before transporting her to a waiting ambulance at Half Moon Bay.

Later in the evening, Coastguard’s Tutukaka unit was dispatched following a distress call from the vessel ‘In-fa-red’. The 80ft Catamaran had hit rocks and was taking on water on the Northern side of the entrance Tutukaka Harbour. Coastguard volunteers boarded the vessel and assessed the one person on-board before setting up a salvage pump on board to maintain the water flow. The vessel was towed off the rocks this morning.

With more Kiwis taking to the water and with two long weekends looming, it is important to take heed of Coastguard’s key safety messages below.

Safety Messages

• Life Jackets; Take them – Wear them. Boats, especially ones under 6m in length, can sink very quickly. Wearing a life jacket increases your survival time in the water.
• Skipper Responsibility – The skipper is responsible for the safety of everyone on board and for the safe operation of the boat. Stay within the limits of your vessel and your experience.
• Communications – Take two separate waterproof ways of communication so we can help you if you get into difficulties.
• Marine Weather – New Zealand’s weather can be highly unpredictable. Check the local marine weather forecast before you go and expect both weather and sea state changes.

Duty Officer for Coastguard’s Northern Region Communications Centre Mark Leevers says “we can’t stress enough the importance of boat safety checks before you head out to sea.”

Coastguard is the charity saving lives at sea and fundraises for everything that they do. In the last year Coastguard’s 2,224 volunteers bought 6,996 people back home to safety and the Auckland based Communication & SAR Response Centre received over 100,000 VHF marine radio calls.

About Coastguard Northern Region

Coastguard is the charity that provides New Zealand’s primary maritime search and rescue service. The organisation operates from a network of four regions and 71 affiliated units, located around the coastline and major lakes of New Zealand. Coastguard’s Northern Region covers from Thames across to Kawhia and up both coasts to the Far North.

Coastguard Northern Region however, is equipped to manage more then 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.

• We provide a 24 hour a day, 365 days a year service.
• Install and maintain VHF radio repeaters throughout the Northern Region to enable mariners to communicate with each other over long distances.
• Install and maintain buoys and beacons to make recreational boating safer.
• Provide a 24 hour continuous weather forecast on marine radio VHF channels 20, 21, 22 and 23.
• Accept trip reports from any vessel able to make radio contact.
• Provide 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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