Waves of com­mit­ment to Coast­guard


Dur­ing the time that John Linn has been in­volved in Coast­guard he doesn’t think there’s been a day the crew has failed their mis­sion.

‘‘You’ve got to weigh up all the con­di­tions, then go out and hope­fully bring peo­ple back,’’ Linn said. ‘‘We man­age to al­ways bring them back. I don’t think we’ve ever not bought any­one back.’’

Linn says ‘you’re only as strong as your crew’ in these sit­u­a­tions.

How­ever, he was re­cently nom­i­nated for a re­gional Coast­guard skip­per’s award and also be­came a South Taranaki Coast­guard life mem­ber.

He has been in­volved with the ser­vice since 2002 but has picked up many roles since then.

‘‘It’s nice to be recog­nised from the unit for what you put in. I had tears in my eyes, it’s pretty emo­tional for me,’’ Linn said.

He thinks that the 15 years he’s been in­volved, and the ex­tra work he’s done in that time, helped him earn the hon­our of be­com­ing a life mem­ber.

Linn has been a pres­i­dent, safety of­fi­cer, and skip­per in South Taranaki through the years. He still holds the skip­per’s role today.

He then got in­volved in the Coast­guard Cen­tral Re­gion - one of the coun­try’s four re­gions.

‘‘That cov­ers New Ply­mouth, right down to Welling­ton, Nel­son, and Marl­bor­ough,’’ he said. ‘‘I went on to that [cen­tral re­gion] board in 2009 and I’ve been chair­man since 2015.’’

‘‘We man­age to al­ways bring them back.’’

John Linn

Linn was re-elected as chair­man for the third year in a re­cent an­nual meet­ing.

‘‘I’m rep­re­sent­ing our unit on our re­gional board,’’ he said.

One of the many times Linn brought peo­ple back safely from sea was what he calls his scari­est mo­ment.

He was the skip­per of the crew that went out on a res­cue mis­sion in the mid­dle of a stormy night.

‘‘There were three guys in a dingy and the en­gine broke down. They were off Pi­hama,’’ he said. ‘‘One swam ashore, and he rose the alarm and we got the call about 10 o’clock at night in the dark in a storm.

‘‘We ac­tu­ally found them and bought them back. It was pretty amaz­ing.’’

Linn orig­i­nally joined Coast­guard South Taranaki be­cause he liked giv­ing back to the com­mu­nity and has had a love for boats and fish­ing since he was 19.

‘‘I’ve al­ways en­joyed it,’’ he said with a smile.


John Linn has been in­volved in lo­cal com­mu­nity boards and com­mit­tee for decades.

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