Maketu¯ Coastguard wins Unit of the Year
Boaties in the waters around Maketu¯ are in good hands.
If they didn’t already know it, then they should now as Maketu¯ Coastguard was named Eastern Region’s Unit of the Year at the weekend.
Volunteer Todd O’Connell picked up the Young Volunteer of the Year award and the unit also won the Rescue of the Year and Community Event of the Year awards at the regions Awards of Excellence in Rotorua.
President Shane Beech says winning the Unit of the Year award was the pinnacle of the evening.
“We are all out there doing our jobs and bits and pieces, but to be recognised as Unit of the Year, that’s fantastic. It just goes to show it’s a combination of everything coming together,” he says.
Shane says Todd’s award was “without doubt” well deserved.
“He’s a great young lad who’s 100 per cent dedicated to being a volunteer in the Coastguard.
“He has a 100 per cent training record and tries his best to get to every call out. He’s been very quick to get from a recruit to an operational member and goes out of his way to support working bees and fundraising and assisting other Coastguard units.”
The Rescue of the Year award related to a night time rescue in March involving a 13m sail boat, with a ripped sail, no steering and a very sick crew member.
The boat was eventually found five hours after the initial call near Mo¯tı¯tı¯ Island. After assessment of the crew it was towed to Tauranga Bridge Marina in difficult conditions with large swells and into a headwind.
The community event award related to Maketu¯ Coastguard’s public bar crossing training in December, although the unit is heavily involved in a variety of community initiatives including the Youth in Emergency Service programme with other emergency services, flare and fire extinguisher workshops, Reef Watch, Te Puke A&P Show and Santa Parade, life jacket promotions and supporting local waka races.
Shane says the annual Coastguard Eastern Region Conference offers the chance to network and acknowledge the regions’ 15 units’ efforts.
MEMBERS of Maketu¯ Coastguard that was named Eastern region Unit of the Year at the weekend.