With another busy summer expected on the water, Coastguard Bay of Islands has moved from its base in Kerikeri to the former general store in Opua, creating a new regional rescue center and education centre.
Over the next three months, the new Opua Coastguard House will be fully equipped so that volunteers can more effectively respond to emergency calls from people in need on the bay, as well as support new training opportunities on and out of the water. In partnership with Coastguard New Zealand, the new base will also serve as a Northland-based rescue center and education center for boating education and community outreach projects such as Day Skipper and Boatmaster courses.
The Bay of Islands is a hotspot for boaters during the summer months particularly with the unit last year responding to 62 incidents, rescuing two people and helping 151 people return home safely. In total, volunteers contributed 2,179 hours to Coastguard.
Bay of Islands Coastguard Chairman Phil Snowdon said the new base is a real game changer – bringing water safety and education to the heart of the Bay of Islands community.
“We know time is of the essence when something is wrong on the water. With our rescue vessel able to moor right next to our new base, we can get out to help much quicker,” he said.
With their newly adapted home and an ever-growing unit, the Bay of Islands Coast Guard is looking for new volunteers to join their crew.
“We’re expecting a busy summer, so we want anyone who’s passionate about giving back to their community to reach out to us,” Phil continued.
Coastguard Bay of Islands is looking for fresh faces to add new expertise, experience and passion – all in the name of saving lives at sea. The unit is looking for reliable, committed, team-oriented volunteers and motivated to be part of the crew – Coastguard provides all the extensive online and hands-on training that fits your schedule and work commitments to get people up to speed! More information is available at https://volunteers.coastguard.nz/
The Bay of Islands Coastguard volunteers will also be supporting Old4New, the Coastguard’s long-running lifejacket upgrade campaign, which will visit the area twice, first on December 17 at Cater Marine in Opua and during the Waitangi weekend at Te Tii Marae Waitangi in Paihia.
© Scoop Media