October 2021 Newsletter

Not unexpectedly, last month was a quiet one for the unit whilst lockdowns were in play.

However, post our lockdown, we did undertake two callouts. Both were tows back to Whitianga which equated to 31 on-water man hours.

Annual General Meeting

Thank you to those members who attended our AGM. One of the outcomes was the confirmation that Whitianga Coastguard will be joining the Coastguard National Membership Scheme.

From a member point of view there will be no change. Your membership will still be supporting our unit with everyone getting NEW cards with NEW membership numbers. Membership renewal will be through the national team rather than the unit.

New members can join the National Scheme and we would ask that you select Whitianga as the unit that you wish to support.

New Zealand Coastguard Awards

At the Coastguard New Zealand AGM held recently via Zoom, Whitianga won the National Community Engagement Award for the Alan Jackson Memorial Cadetship Programme. We were also in the top three finalists for Unit of the Year and Coastguard Leader of the Year.

An excellent result for our unit and congratulations and sincere thanks again to all the crew (both wet and dry) who assisted with the cadetship programme – not a small undertaking by any means.

Trip Reports – Part of your Good Plan

With summer and improving weather coming, we will see an increase in vessels getting on the water.

For trip reports (VHF channel #63), we ask that you provide the:

1.  vessel name

2.  call sign

3.  number of people on board

4.  destination

5.  expected time of arrival back

The provision of this information will make your time spent on the radio so much shorter.

There is also a Coastguard New Zealand app that gives you the option to lodge a trip report via your phone, as well as getting up to date weather forecasts, tides, etc.

Remember, that any call out for assistance is free for Coastguard members nationwide but for non-members there is a standard national flat callout fee of $280.00 PER HOUR.

New Rescue Vessel

Unfortunately, due to the Auckland lockdown and on-going supply issues, our acquisition of the additional rescue vessel has been further delayed with no new arrival date provided yet.

Realistically, we will probably be welcoming ‘her’ in either February or March 2022.

Meanwhile safe boating.

Stuart Brown