America's Cup team tender joins Coastguard fleet

By Mike Rose

An 18.6m Rayglass Protector previously owned by Emirates Team New Zealand will today join the Auckland Coastguard's fleet of rescue vessels.

The ex-America's Cup tender, which is powered by twin Yamaha ME690 410hp marine diesel engines, will be known as ASB Rescue.

Auckland Coastguard spokesman Duthie Lidgard says the new vessel is being added to the Coastguard's fleet thanks to the generosity of Emirates Team NZ, ASB Bank, the Lion Foundation and Coastguard's other supporters.

Emirates Team NZ's Grant Dalton will re-christen the Protector at today's handing-over ceremony and the Mayor of Auckland, John Banks, will be the guest of honour.

Lidgard says ASB Rescue will perfectly complement the existing vessels operated by Auckland Coastguard. These include the 14.6m Naiad Lion Foundation Rescue and the 8.9m Rayglass Protector Trillian Rescue Alpha as well as four private rescue vessels: Kyrenia, Markylla, Grey Bear and Hauraki Hilton.

In its role with Emirates Team NZ, the large 18.6m Protector was capable of speeds of around 20 knots and could tow one of the Cup yachts at an impressive 12 knots.

Before beginning its new role, ASB Rescue will spend the next few months being converted into a Coastguard rescue vessel.

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