Maketu¯ Coast­guard wins Unit of the Year

Te Puke Times - - NEWS - By STU­ART WHI­TAKER news@tepuke­times.co.nz

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.

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