Sav­ing lives on wa­ter

Waihi Leader - - News - By ME­LANIE CAMOIN news@wai­hileader.co.nz

Help save lives at sea by giv­ing back to Coast­guard dur­ing their an­nual ap­peal this week.

Coast­guard New Zealand is ap­peal­ing to the pub­lic for dona­tions to help them con­tinue their life-sav­ing ef­forts, pro­vid­ing pro­fes­sional ma­rine and res­cue ser­vices 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days of the year. Coast­guard is a char­ity with limited gov­ern­ment fund­ing. The ap­peal, which started last week, will end on Sun­day.

In the Bay of Plenty alone, Coast­guard has al­ready saved 1106 peo­ple since the start of the year. The Bay of Plenty area is one of busiest na­tion­wide and in­cludes Waihi Beach,

Maketu¯, po¯toki, Tairua/ Pauanui, Tau­ranga, Whakata¯ne, Whanga­mata¯ and Whi­tianga.

With 247 vol­un­teers spread across the Bay of Plenty, units have ded­i­cated nearly 53,000 hours so far this year, and sum­mer, with more res­cues, is just around the cor­ner.

Pa­trick Holmes, CEO of Coast­guard NZ, says that the role of vol­un­teers and their ded­i­ca­tion is cru­cial to help peo­ple en­joy wa­ter­ways safely in the coun­try.

“Our vol­un­teers will spring to the as­sis­tance of any­one in trou­ble — from a boat not start­ing or help­ing a kayaker or surfer in dif­fi­culty, to res­cu­ing a man over­board, re­spond­ing to an emer­gency flare, lo­cat­ing a drift­ing ves­sel or at­tend­ing to a med­i­cal emer­gency at sea.

“Oc­to­ber is the time when Ki­wis get back on the wa­ter and we want every­one to know we’re their best mate — and not be scared to call us. At the end of the day, we don’t just save lives, we save fam­i­lies.”

Coast­guard urges peo­ple head­ing out on the wa­ter this sum­mer to keep three key mes­sages in mind:

1. Al­ways wear your life­jacket.

2. Take two sep­a­rate wa­ter­proof forms of com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

3. If some­thing goes wrong, alert Coast­guard as soon as you can — never be afraid to con­tact them.

■ Do­nate to Coast­guard New Zealand on­line at www.coast­guard.nz/do­nate-now/.

To sup­port, do­nate or vol­un­teer for Waihi Beach Coast­guard, visit www.wai­hibeach­coast­guard.co.nz

PHOTO / FILE.

Waihi Beach Coast­guard head­ing out to sea.

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