As a boatie, it's nice to know that someone is looking out for you.

That someone is a radio operator at Waihi Beach Coastguard.

The local Coastguard is having an open day to let people know what they do and to recruit new operators to join the team.

"It's a such a rewarding job," says radio team member and committee member Sue Lean.

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"We know that when we put in a trip report for someone — it feels good to know we are looking after them. And as a boatie, it's a secure feeling to know someone has your back."

The open day will be a look around the operations and an informal chat. Operators will show people what goes on in the radio room.

They have 14 radio operators and another 3-5 would be great, Sue says, for the upcoming summer season. Shifts are four hours at a time and new people would be on day shifts.

"The channel is monitored 24/7 but the radio operators work 8am-12pm or 12pm-4pm. The radio station is manned all the time — it goes to Auckland when we are not covering it."

But having local people able to cover shifts is a huge advantage, Sue says.

"Local people know the area and the conditions and they come to recognise the boat name and get to know the people.

"It really helps to have that local knowledge, and if they have been boaties themselves, they know what it's like."

Volunteers have to be committed. Some boating experience would be an advantage.

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Potential operators will be supported into getting their maritime VHF licence and full training is given in areas such as computer recording, standard operating procedures and dealing with emergencies.

For more information contact operations@waihibeachcoastguard.co.nz or via Facebook.


OPEN DAY
Waihi Beach Coastguard open day
■ Seaforth Rd, Bowentown
■ September 15
■ 10am-12pm