New boat boosts res­cue ser­vice

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Coast­guard Mana is pleased to leave 2014 be­hind and get its new boat in the wa­ter.

For much of last year, its 12.5 me­tre main res­cue boat was out of ac­tion after its star­board out­board mo­tor failed.

Then, in Au­gust, the out­board mo­tor from the smaller 5.9m Pelorus boat was stolen from Mana Ma­rina. Although it was re­cov­ered within 48 hours, it was dam­aged and was off the wa­ter for weeks.

In Septem­ber the 15-year-old main boat was de­com­mis­sioned, so Coast­guard Mana had just the Pelorus.

‘‘It did mean we were con­fined to the in­ner har­bour,’’ the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s pres­i­dent, Peter Feely, said. ‘‘It was a very frus­trat­ing time be­cause we couldn’t do any train­ing.’’

This week­end, how­ever, Coast­guard Mana goes back to be­ing fully op­er­a­tional.

How­ick Vol­un­teer Coast­guard’s 9.5m res­cue boat has a new home at Mana Ma­rina. Feely said a bless­ing and drop­ping it into the wa­ter would be car­ried out as part of an open day on Satur­day.

The ves­sel is un­der­go­ing work to adapt it to harsh Cook Strait con­di­tions and the five Coast­guard Mana masters would need to get new cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, he said.

The boat will be re­named Mana Res­cue 1.

‘‘We have one of the most dif­fi­cult sea en­vi­ron­ments you can op­er­ate in. But hav­ing this new ves­sel means we can get back to proper train­ing and ex­er­cises so we’re ready for the real thing.’’

Feely said it was im­por­tant to note the How­ick ves­sel was only a tem­po­rary fix.

A 12.5m, pur­pose-built res­cue boat is de­sired, but more than $1 mil­lion will need to be raised to ac­quire it.

He is hope­ful that might be within the next three years.

Feely said the support of the Porirua pub­lic was greatly ap­pre­ci­ated dur­ing dif­fi­cult times last year.

A givealit­tle page raised $2470 and money from the na­tional Coast­guard body and Mana Com­mu­nity Grants Foun­da­tion made the pur­chase of the How­ick boat pos­si­ble.

Feely said the pub­lic was wel­come to at­tend on Satur­day to check out the new res­cue boat.

Photo: KRIS DANDO

Happy man: Coast­guard Mana pres­i­dent Peter Feely with the new res­cue boat.

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