New rescue vessel to patrol Northland coast

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The dedication and blessing of the new Coastguard Whangaroa rescue vessel Kahurangi, is on Saturday,  October 8 at the Whangaroa Marina from 2pm.
The dedication and blessing of the new Coastguard Whangaroa rescue vessel Kahurangi, is on Saturday, October 8 at the Whangaroa Marina from 2pm.

A new coastguard rescue vessel will be patrolling Northland's coast this summer looking for trouble.

Kahurangi, also known as 'Jewel of the North' is to be launched at a public blessing ceremony at the Whangaroa Marina on Saturday, October 8.

Support from the community has been crucial in getting the new 11.2m, custom-built rigid-hulled inflatable rescue vessel across the line.

It has been five years of planning and fundraising to get the boat on the water, with more than $125,000 of the vessel's funding coming from community donations, donors and unit reserves.

Funding for the vessel, which costs more than $750,000, was also made possible by grants from Foundation North, the Lottery Grants Board, Pub Charity, Trillian Trust and the Oxford Sports Trust.

Kahurangi was commissioned to replace the ageing existing vessel, which was donated to Coastguard Whangaroa in mid-2012 after more than a decade of service with another Northland Coastguard Unit.

To complement the new vessel, extensive volunteer recruitment and training has been undertaken to increase the number of skilled wet crew volunteers, ensuring the unit can continue to respond to incidents 24 hours a day.

Coastguard Whangaroa president Bob Kidd said the Whangaroa region swelled in summer with an influx of visitors from across the country, resulting in large numbers of boaties on the water.

"The new Coastguard vessel has been custom designed for the needs of the area and to cope well with the often-treacherous conditions off the Northland coast," Mr Kidd said.

"The end result is that boaties in this popular boating spot can rest assured that Coastguard will have their back should they ever run into trouble."

Volunteers from Coastguard Whangaroa attended 41blown incidents since January 2015, ranging from mechanical difficulties to full emergencies, ensuring dozens of boaties have been brought back to safety.

"The Coastguard Whangaroa team look forward to being able to continue to give back to the community, by providing this vital rescue service" says Mr Kidd.

*The dedication and blessing of the new Coastguard Whangaroa rescue vessel Kahurangi, is on Saturday, October 8 at the Whangaroa Marina from 2pm.

- Northern Advocate

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