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.’’
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.