Pete Dixon is leaving Coastguard Kāpiti Coast after 34 years of service.
The unit's stalwart and his wife Marionne are relocating to Hawke's Bay where they will be closer to family.
Pete started his voluntary involvement when he joined the Kāpiti Boating Club based at Paraparaumu Beach.
"In those days the coastguard was part of the boating club.
"They had a rescue craft, which I got involved with."
He's held various positions at the unit including boat skipper and committee vice- president.
His first main callout was when two people, a tailor and an optometrist, "went out sailing and got tipped over".
"We never found their bodies."
Throughout the years various callouts are well remembered.
Pete was involved in a search for two people when a freight plane crashed into the sea.
"I spent many days on that one."
The pilot and co-pilot's bodies were recovered by police divers more than a week later.
Another extensive search involved looking for missing diver Rob Hewitt who was eventually found alive after 75 hours in the sea.
"There were about eight boats out there and I was on-scene control so I had to organise all the vessels and search lines and make sure the spacing was always correct."
Another callout that stood out was "a child trapped under an upturned boat" who thankfully survived.
Only when people aren't wearing lifejackets does Pete's cool and calm demeanour get tested.
"We were called out to three guys on a small boat who were five miles out.
"They had broken down and had no life jackets.
"I must admit I lost the plot a bit and tore into them."
Then there was the time a guy in a kayak, who had no lifejacket on, got "a tune-up".
Pete's angst was understandable when you know the strength of the currents and how quickly things can go from good to bad.
Moreover, any time someone went onto the water "**** can happen".
"It's not a problem for people that have got well-maintained boats which are in reasonable condition.
"But if you haven't got all the gear on, that's when I start to get a bit septic on it.
"I have asked police to prosecute someone."
Some callouts aren't what they seem, such as when the unit was deployed towards Ōtaki Beach in rough conditions.
"Someone had seen a flashing light.
"The person who saw it was 3-4km inland.
"The flashing light turned out to be an arcing electric fence."
Pete said despite all the training, knowledge of the sea, and the unit rescue boat's capabilities, there was always one overriding consideration.
"The No.1 rule is looking after yourself, your crew and the boat – that's the priority."
While a lot of his input has been on board a boat, Pete had also been involved in co-ordinating aerial search responses.
A highlight was receiving a coast air award, which led to a week in Hawaii including three days with the US Coastguard.
Pete, who received a Queen's Service Medal a few years ago, said he would miss the unit's camaraderie.
"I've made some very good friends in the unit over the years."
And with the unpredictable nature of being involved in the coastguard, there was one very important person to acknowledge.
"The support of my wife has been truly amazing."