A new Bay of Plenty-based satellite station is aiding the faster recovery of trampers, hunters and boaties in danger.
The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) is using the station - 20 kilometres east of Reporoa - which includes a modular Portacom equipment room, and six tracking antennas to reach orbiting satellites, resulting in the faster handling and locating of activated emergency distress beacons.
RCCNZ and Safety Services deputy danager for Maritime New Zealand Rodney Bracefield thanked Portacom Building Solutions for fast-tracking the construction.
"Portacom managed the entire process end-to-end; they custom designed, built and partially fitted-out the equipment room in under five weeks," Bracefield said.
Bracefield said the station was able to provide life-saving intelligence, especially when beacons had been registered by their owners.
"In an incident involving two deer hunters trapped on a steep Hopkins Valley mountainside, one with a serious leg injury, the new station and its technology detected their beacon 56 minutes faster," he said.
"In fact, there was even a rescue that would not have even been possible if we were still reliant on the old system. We picked up a distress alert from a tramper with a fractured ankle in the Kaikoura mountains that our old system failed to receive."
The satellite station was paid for by the Government costing $7.2 million to install and operate for the next 11 years.
Kordia New Zealand looks after the ongoing maintenance of the ground station.
The station is the only one of its kind in New Zealand.