Maketu Coastguard wins NZ award
Maketu Volunteer Coastguard has won national recognition for services to the community.
It was named National Unit of the Year and Community Relations Activity of the Year at the Coastguard Awards of Excellence 2018 in Wellington on Saturday.
Maketu Volunteer Coastguard president Shane Beech said it was the first time the organisation had been recognised in the national awards.
“It is just fantastic,” he said. Supreme Award at the Trustpower Community Awards earlier this year.
The organisation was recognised for a “combination of reasons”.
“We are a very committed unit, community orientated, we go above and beyond for our community,” he said.
“We would not be able to do what we do without our community.”
Geoff Oliver has been volunteering with the Maketu Coastguard since 2005 and said he joined after witnessing “a few bad accidents” at sea. “I wanted to make sure there weren’t more of them.”
Geoff had been involved in many rescues, including saving three people trapped inside the cabin of a submerged boat on the Kaituna Cut.
“We train hard and we save a lot of people.” Geoff said.
“We get a great deal of satisfaction from helping people.”
Geoff said the organisation was also recognised for its community involvement, including running bar crossing trainings and engaging youth in emergency services.
“I am very proud of our unit,” he said.
Maketu-Te Puke ward councillor John Scrimgeour said the Maketu Coastguard was deserving of the award.
“Maketu is one of those places that may be a small community on its own but lots of people come from further afield to enjoy the water,” he said.
“They do an awesome job of keeping people safe and being available to assist in some dramatic rescues.”
Maketu Coastguard president Shane Beech says they couldn’t do what they do without the community’s support.