Maketu Coast­guard wins NZ award

Te Puke Times - - NEWS - By ZOE HUNTER

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.”

PHOTO / GE­ORGE NO­VAK

Maketu Coast­guard pres­i­dent Shane Beech says they couldn’t do what they do with­out the com­mu­nity’s sup­port.

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