New base for Coastguard
The Mana Coastguard are used to being the rescuers, but now they find themselves grateful to be the rescued.
About $20,000 of communication and rescue gear was lost when an electrical fire on August 14 destroyed the group’s Portacom base on the Mana wharf.
Now, thanks to a wave of support from the people of Porirua and Wellington, they are back beside the water.
Carrus Delevopments donated a site office it no longer needed, and Rough Terrain Transport moved the Portacom to Mana wharf.
James Hault Plumbing and John Corbett Electrician provided services free of charge, and Mana Cruising Club agreed to the Portacom, which is much bigger than the last, going back on its property.
Coastguard president Peter Feely said: ‘‘We had to have an operations base ready for emerg- encies so we set up in the central city – it wasn’t ideal, but let us keep monitoring the water.
‘‘We still have a lot of work and refurbishments to do, but we feel very lucky with all the support we have received.’’
Carrus representative Melissa Meads said the company was a community-focused developer and always keen to help.
She and her husband had owned a boat of their own and been rescued by the coastguard a few times.
‘‘When we saw what had happened, I called my boss Scott Adams, who just said ‘make it happen’ and we did.
‘‘The coastguard here are so important, they really save lives. It’s important to have a facility like this in our community.’’
Coastguard Mana covered a large area on the Wellington region’s west coast, from north of Pukerua Bay, over the Cook Strait to the top of Queen Charlotte Sound and back to just south of Porirua.
Their busiest time, summer, was fast approaching and it was important they could continue with their work, Feely said.
BY THE NUMBERS
10 rescue operations since July 2015.
Volunteers spent 119 hours on operations. 1897 hours in training. 28 active crew members. The unit won an award in 2014 for the year’s most difficult rescue.
Peter Feely from Mana Coastguard in front of the new building donated by Carrus Developers. The previous building was destroyed in an electrical blaze on August 14.