Coast Guard Nelson alongside Police SAR Squad, Tasman District Harbor Master and New Zealand Rescue Coordination Center were recognized for their outstanding teamwork in rescuing d ‘a yacht adrift in the Cook Strait last year.
For his part in rescuing six people from a drifting yacht in rough seas, Coastguard Nelson received an internationally recognized award.
Coastguard Nelson was announced as one of the recipients of the team’s outstanding contribution to maritime SAR operations at the International Maritime Rescue Federation awards ceremony on Monday.
The Nelson Police SAR Team, the Tasman District Harbor Master and the Rescue Coordination Center New Zealand were also recognized for their role in a 14.5 hour operation to save the SV Ocean Gem after losing direction in Cook Strait on March 18. -19, 2020.
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MARTIN DE RUYTER / STUFF
The new Nelson Hohapata Sealord Rescue coastguard boat in Port Nelson during its launch.
The 12-ton sailboat was drifting at sea in winds of up to 25 knots when the Coast Guard received a distress call.
Communication between the Nelson Coast Guard, the Rescue Coordination Center and the Ocean Gem helped the Coast Guard reach the ship at 7:20 a.m. the next morning in swells of up to four meters near Rangitoto ki te Tonga / D’Urville Island.
President of the Coast Guard Nelson Pete Kara said the crew of the Ocean Gem was exhausted keeping the ship afloat and clear of rocks.
The six crew members were “delighted” to see Coast Guard rescuers Nelson. They brought six pizzas from the Styx to Nelson, which the Ocean Gem crew immediately devoured.
“They hadn’t eaten for a few days, trying to keep the boat afloat.”
The Coast Guard vessel then towed the Ocean Gem to safety.
Kara said the Nelson Coast Guard were “stunned” when they were announced as finalists for the International Maritime Rescue Federation awards, alongside search and rescue teams in Malaysia, Canada, Switzerland, in China, South Africa, the Netherlands and Germany.
When they were announced as category winners, they were “blown away”.
“Our guys are still trying to come to terms with this. It will take a few days to sink in.
Kara said the entire Coast Guard appreciates the honor. Their training allowed them to coordinate with the police, the rescue coordination center and the harbor master to bring the Ocean Gem home.
“We’re here to keep people safe and to help them when they get into trouble. “
Coastguard Nelson launched its new $ 1.4 million boat, the Hohapata-Sealord Rescue in March of this year.