Coastguard Marlborough’s ‘Bluebridge Rescue’ Vessel Launched
Coastguard Marlborough launched its brand new 14 metre Naiad rescue vessel in late April 2016. The custom built rescue vessel fitted with a fully equipped ambulance bay designed to replicate the exact configuration of a St John’s ambulance is the only one of its kind in existence.
The vessel will be crewed by both Coastguard and St John’s personnel from Picton and Marlborough units and will cover the challenging 1,600km of coastline along the Marlborough Sounds, catering not only to locals, but also to the 1.5 million people who visit the region each year.
“It’s absolutely vital to ensure we have a fit for purpose vessel that is suited to Marlborough’s unique conditions and it wouldn’t be possible without the likes of significant funders to make this happen. The vessel is worth approximately $1.2 million and we are extremely grateful to LGB, OLT Properties Ltd, Bluebridge Ferries, Rata Foundation, Marlborough District Council, Pub Charity, Lion Foundation and numerous other funders as without their support it simply wouldn’t be possible to provide this vessel to our community” said Coastguard Marlborough President, Dick Chapman.
“Bluebridge Rescue has been five years in the planning and has been a massive undertaking for the many people involved, she replaces the 24-year-old vessel Interislander Rescue which has served the Marlborough community well. She will operate in rougher conditions, carry more people and provide a better working space for rescue personnel. She will be quicker, enabling rescue personnel to get to those who need help faster and provide a much more comfortable ride for patients – it’s a great asset to our community. Coastguard is incredibly grateful to everyone who has been involved in this project for their ongoing support.
“Bluebridge Rescue was built locally by Cuddons Engineering in Blenheim and is powered by three Yamaha 350 outboard motors - with the technology and design of Bluebridge Rescue we anticipate we will be able to respond to emergencies within the ‘golden hour’ even in challenging conditions” said Chapman.