New Coastguard boat blessed
Last Sunday was a day to remember for Maketu Coastguard volunteer crew for the blessing and launching of their new emergency rescue vessel, Kohinui Rescue.
Several coastguard boats were moored at sea, with fire trucks, rescue helicopter, jet skis and the new vessel, and tractor on show.
It was the culmination of more than two years planning. Trustpower TECT Rescue Helicopter joined the event along with Maketu Fire Brigade and Waihi, Tauranga, Whangamata and Whakatane Coastguard crews and AMI staff.
Hundreds of locals joined the event which began with a local minister Kohi Hanara blessing the boat and its crew.
MC for the day was Geoff Oliver and Western Bay Council mayor Garry Webber and Rotorua Lakes Council mayor Steve Chadwick both spoke, with praise for the work and dedication to the community by Maketu Coastguard volunteers. Peter Blackwell, representing major sponsor TECT, acknowledged Maketu Coastguard for winning the Supreme Award at the local TECT awards evening in September.
Local kaumatua, Tua Mahutariki explained the meaning behind the name Kohinui and its significance. Coastguard Regional manager Sunny Peters spoke highly of the members of Maketu Coastguard and their commitment to the community,
the Youth Award which went to Todd O’C¸onnell, Rescue of the Year, Coastguard Regional Unit of the Year and Coastguard Community Involvement Award for 2018.
Maketu Coastguard president Shane Beech said that before the Coastguard there were 11 lives lost at sea due to boating incidents in the Maketu sea area. Since the formation of Maketu Coastguard 10 years ago, no boating lives have been lost, and the statistics spoke for themselves.
Andrea Marsh had the privilege of smashing a bottle of champagne over the bow with the words, “I name this vessel Kohinui Rescue. May God bless her and all who sail upon her and all who are saved by her”. Coastguard skipper Andy McRae took the vessel for its maiden voyage across the Maketu¯ bar.
Maketu Coastguard thanks all the sponsors — TECT, Lion Foundation, One Foundation, RECT, Coastguard NZ, Infinity Foundation, WBOPDC and AMI — and those who joined in the celebrations and made the day special for all.
The Maketu¯ Coastguard volunteer crew with their new emergency rescue vessel, Kohinui Rescue.