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Coastguard News

The strange summer continues with storms (Hallie and later Gabrielle). This weather has obviously impacted upon the amount of enjoyment to be had on the water.

There were fourteen assists during the month of February, down from twenty last year. Of those one was an urgent nature during Gabrielle where we had to locate a small eight foot inflatable dinghy with one person on board up the river. Two CRV s launched at approx. 2300 hours and the person was located approx. 0030, cold and wet but otherwise okay. A total of five assists were undertaken during Gabrielle and all within the river.

The balance of the callouts ranged between Cuvier Island , outside Red Mercury, Greater Mercury Island, Otama and the Bay. The total number of people assisted was 32 down from 38 last year.

The Radio Operators received calls dropped from 3197 last year to 1054 this year. The repeater lost its power supply and after a few days the back up batteries died resulting in the loss of VHF channels 61 and 63. We were able to maintain a radio watch on VHF channel 65 with thanks to Mercury Bay Game Fishing Club for allowing us access to their channel.

Thank you to all the people who purchased raffle tickets from our stand at Countdown Whitianga. We managed to raise $14,000 from these sales and the proceeds will go towards new chart-plotters for our main rescue vessel. Thank you also to Countdown for allowing us to have one of our vessels outside the store and the crew staffing the station.

This is a heads up for this years Alan Jackson Memorial Cadetship programme. This is open for 10 young adults from an age range of approximately 15 to 17 years. We will soon be taking applications for this programme which will run from 28 May to 3 September. You can seek an application from our office by emailing

We are planning an Open Day on Sunday, 30 April where our rescues vessels will be on display, information on trip reports and call signs will be available. There will also be a blessing of our Coastguard AC36 vessel Takareto by Kaumatua Joe Davis on the day as well. More details to come on this.

I hope the weather settles down and lets us all enjoy the water.

Safe boating

Stuart Brown President

Whitianga Coastguard

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