Coastguard Bay of Islands relocates to Opua in time for summer

With another busy summer expected out on the water, Coastguard Bay of Islands has shifted from its Kerikeri base into the old General Store at Opua, creating a new regional rescue centre and education hub.

Over the next three months, Coastguard’s new Opua home will be fully fitted out ensuring volunteers can respond more efficiently to emergency calls from people in need out on the Bay as well as support new training opportunities on and off the water. Partnering with Coastguard New Zealand, the new base will also double as a Northland-based rescue centre and education hub for boating education and community outreach projects such as Day Skipper and Boatmaster courses.

The Bay of Islands is a hotspot for boaties over the summer months in particular with the unit last year responding to 62 incidents, rescuing two people and assisting 151 people home safely. In total, volunteers contributed 2,179 hours to Coastguard.

Coastguard Bay of Islands President Phil Snowdon said that the new base is a true gamechanger – bringing water safety and education to the heart of the Bay of Islands community.

“We know time is of the essence when something goes wrong on the water. With our rescue vessel able to be berthed right next to our new base – we can get out to help so much quicker,” he said.

With their new fit-for-purpose home and a unit that’s going from strength to strength, Coastguard Bay of Islands are on the hunt for new volunteers to join their crew.

“We’re expecting a busy summer so are keen for anyone with a passion for giving back to their community to get in touch,” Phil continued.

Coastguard Bay of Islands is looking for fresh faces to add new expertise, experience and passion – all in the name of saving lives at sea. The unit is seeking reliable, committed, team-spirited and motivated volunteers to become part of the crew - Coastguard provides all the extensive online and practical training that fits with your schedule and work commitments to bring people up to speed! More information is available at https://volunteers.coastguard.nz/

Coastguard Bay of Islands volunteers will also be supporting Old4New, Coastguard’s long-standing lifejacket upgrade campaign, which will visit the area twice, firstly on December 17 at Cater Marine in Opua and over Waitangi Weekend at Te Tii Marae Waitangi in Paihia.

ENDS

For more information, contact:
Ben Parsons
Coastguard New Zealand Senior Communications Advisor
[email protected]

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