Rescue operation award
Coastguard Mana was honoured with the Mitre 10 Coastguard Rescue of the Year award at the National Coastguard Awards of Excellence evening in Auckland last week.
After lunch on March 4, volunteers from Coastguard Mana were paged about an incident involving two fishermen in the Cook Strait.
The men had set off early that morning to catch tuna in a fourmetre open runabout, when they lost power and were unsure of their location.
With Cyclone Lusi bearing down from the north, the Coastguard Mana crew departed Mana Marina in search of the men.
In six-metre seas and with the interisland ferries unable to sail, the volunteers assessed they had a window of three to four hours.
Within two hours the crew managed to pinpoint the fishermen in a high-risk operation in treacherous conditions and brought them to safety, averting disaster.
Peter Feely, president of Coastguard Mana volunteer unit, said news of the two fishermen and five Coastguard Mana crew safely returning to base just in time to beat a sharp weather change really made its mark.
Zealand chief executive, Patrick Holmes, said the awards were made to honour the brave individuals and units who provided crucial life-saving services to New Zealanders.
Happy quartet: From left, Coastguard Mana’s Trevor Farmer, Peter Feely and Trevor Burgess, and Dean Lawrence, president of Coastguard New Zealand.