As an island nation, our seas provide ample opportunity to swim, play, go boating and participate in water sports. These are all part of the quintessential Kiwi lifestyle.
However, with this fun comes an increased risk of accidents and unpredictable conditions.
Coastguard's mission is to ‘save lives at sea’ and they do so by responding quickly to emergencies on the water; ensuring our loved ones come home safe.
Funding and Volunteers Keep Our Community Safe
Coastguard provides the primary maritime search and rescue service for the Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Gisborne and Hawkes Bay.
Over the last year in the Eastern Region there has been:
- 138,027 radio calls received
- 883 calls for assistance
- 79 rescues carried out
- 69 people brought home safely
Many of these have been recorded in the Bay of Plenty.
This critical service relies significantly on funding and volunteers to keep our community safe. With thousands of people in our community needing their help every year, and with our growing population and demand, more and more funding is needed to maintain the service to ensure there is always help when we need it on the water.
TECT Funding Goes Far and Wide in Our Region
TECT funding was sought to support the Tauranga and Maketu units, along with the Regional Communications Hub located at the Mount. With a TECT grant of $70,000, Coastguard Eastern Region can maintain their life-saving equipment, provide boating education and water rescue services.
At the Maketu unit, TECT’s funding helped with the costs of upkeep and insurance of the vessels used, which with constant use in rough and dangerous conditions require high levels of maintenance. At the Tauranga unit, funding went towards operational costs and new rescue boat pontoons.
The Regional Communications Hub that TECT funding supported monitors all VHF marine Channels within the region, providing communication and trip reports for boaties monitoring activity and activating rescues as necessary; ensuring 24/7 support on the water.
A Life-Saving Service that Relies on Support
Sunny Peeters, Regional Manager of Coastguard Eastern Region says TECT’s funding was vital to ensuring they can continue supporting life-saving service.
“Our main aim is to ultimately save lives, and we couldn’t do it without TECT’s support. TECT’s grant has ensured we can provide our units certifications, training, technology and all the necessary equipment, so all our volunteer crews are mission capable 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”
Bill Holland, TECT Chairperson, says that the Coastguard is an invaluable service in our region.
“With so much coastline, our region is quite unique. It therefore clearly aligned with us to fund our community’s Coastguard. They provide not only emergency rescue services, but also education services on boating safety.
“It’s both a proactive and reactive service that ultimately reduces the number of marine emergencies and fatalities. Their service is invaluable and the fact that its volunteers doing this life-saving work is phenomenal – they deserve all the support they can get.”
Interested in joining the 546 volunteers in the Eastern Region saving lives at sea with Coastguard? Want to learn about safe boating and what you can do to ensure you have an enjoyable, safe trip out on the water? Visit https://www.coastguard.nz/.