Coastguard Wanaka Lakes was born out of a group of keen boaties becoming involved with the local LandSAR group and identifying a need for search and rescue capability on Lakes Wanaka and Hawea in 2010. They became a Coastguard unit in 2011 and local volunteers have spent thousands of hours training to achieve their Coastguard Certificates of Competence and become operational.

Our 20 volunteers continue to train increasing their skills and are ready 24/7 to respond to calls for help.  We purchased our Naiad 6.7m rescue vessel in 2012 and continue to have the support of local funders and our key foundation sponsors. This rescue vessel was retired in 2022.

In 2022, the unit received Waiariki Rescue, its new Lotto-funded Coastguard Rescue Vessel (CRV). Gifted the name ‘Waiariki Rescue’ by Te Rūnanga o Moeraki (after the original name for Stevensons Arm), the new twin-engine 9m vessel is one of 26 high-spec craft that were first used as chase boats at the 2021 America’s Cup. Through a unique partnership between Lotto NZ, Coastguard and Emirates Team New Zealand, and a $9.8 million lottery grant made possible by the millions of Kiwis who play Lotto NZ games each year, these boats have been reskinned and refitted for Coastguard units across the country.

Wānaka Lakes also received a custom-built FUSO Canter 7164 four-wheel-drive from Keith Andrews Trucks. Together, the new equipment massively enhances the unit’s mobility, enabling them to support search and rescue operations in challenging environments around the Central Otago region. 

The unit operates from a dedicated Marine Rescue Centre in Wānaka which was also opened in 2022.


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

Legal Name Coastguard Wanaka Lakes Inc
Charity Number   CC47347   




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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