More Coastguard volunteers in Northland are able to crew a rescue vessel in the event of a call for assistance after finishing their week-long training course.

Coastguard Tutukaka hosted 11 volunteers from Hauhora, Whangaruru, Tutukaka, Bay of Islands, Auckland and Papakura for an operational block course that involved theory and practice.

The course started on Monday and finishes today.

Topics covered included Coastguard rescue vessel handling, navigation, search techniques, victim recovery, towing, helming, and night operations.


Keith McKay, president of Coastguard Tutukaka, said two Coastguard rescue vessels from Auckland and one each from Whangaruru and Tutukaka were being used during the training course.

"Most of these volunteers have been volunteering for Coastguard for between 12 and 18 months and at the end of their trainee phase, they'll be operationally qualified which means they can crew a vessel when calls for help are made."

McKay said normally such courses were held in Auckland but they decided to conduct it in Northland this year because most of the participants were from north of the big city.

All but two participants were from Northland.