Coastguard Canterbury was founded in 1977 by a group of boating enthusiasts who wanted to provide support to the many recreational users of the Lyttelton Harbour and Canterbury coast.

Initially, volunteers used their own boats but in 1990 the first dedicated rescue vessel was purchased - a 6.8m Naiad named Waste Management Sea Rescue. This was followed by a number of rescue vessels throughout the years.

In 2009, the current AMF 9.5m vessel was purchased – Pub Charity Canterbury Rescue.  The headquarters building was partially built by volunteers including Hans Vermeulen, who owned a concrete company and built the basement area. This was damaged in the 2010-11 earthquakes and demolished in 2021 to make way for the Sail GP site by the Christchurch City Council. We are currently in temporary portable buildings as we complete a project to build a new boatshed and operations base.


Visit our About Us section for more information on our unit's VesselSponsors and how you can Contact Us.

Legal Name Coastguard Canterbury Inc
Charity Number    CC30649

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Coastguard is a charity. Our volunteers need your help to save lives at sea.

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Support the Coastguard and our volunteers in their mission of ‘saving lives at sea’, and get benefits at the same time.

Find out how to become a member

Book a Course

Increase your knowledge and confidence by completing a boating course.

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No matter your skill set, there’s a place for you in the Coastguard whānau.

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Thanks to our life-saving partners:
  • Auckland Council
  • Northland Regional Council
  • Waikato Regional Council
  • Hutchwilco
  • Marine Deals
  • Tower
  • Kordia
  • Hyundai
  • Line7
  • Century Batteries
  • Half Moon Bay
  • NZCT
  • Lotteries Grants Board
  • Lion Foundation
  • Pub Charity