The 1958 drowning of two teenagers on the Riverton bar was the catalyst for the formation of the Taremea Bay Rescue Unit, complete with a second-hand 16ft clinker-built wooden boat and an outboard motor.

With strong links to our closest sea rescue unit, Sumner Lifeboat, we changed our name to Riverton Volunteer Lifeboat Institution. And in 1979, upon joining NZ Coastguard we became Riverton Coastguard Incorporated.

In 1969, we imported from the UK a 12-ft 6inch Dunlop inflatable. This was followed in 1978 with the new purchase of a 16-ft Sea Rover Inflatable. And then followed with our first rigid hull 18ft Avon inflatable.

In 1993 our unit did major fundraising to build our first 6.8m rigid hull Naiad. This New Zealand designed vessel enabled our unit to carry out more rescues in Foveaux Strait and proved to be an excellent sea boat.

1998 was to be the worst year the Riverton Coastguard crew ever experienced. A Cessna with 10 people onboard crash landed into Foveaux Strait. Five people were found alive and rescued by Riverton Coastguard. A further four people were found deceased. Seven-year-old Russell Chisholm, the 10th person, was never located. The Chisholm family and their friends raised funds for our present vessel, an 8.5m Naiad named Russell John Chisholm. This excellent fit-for-purpose vessel was launched in 1999.

Later the bowling club gave us free use of their shed. In 1980, the Riverton Lions Club built and donated a small boat station on the Jacob River bank. Our current boat station and headquarters was built in the same location in 1990 and was designed and built mainly voluntarily by Noel Anderson and assisted in the weekends by a volunteer crew.



Our volunteer team is 18 strong and go about their duties with a dedication and intensity that does them great credit. They train regularly so that they are always prepared for any emergency situation that they are required to deal with. 

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

Legal Name Riverton Coastguard Inc
Charity Number    CC22259  

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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