Coastguard Riverton volunteer Ian Coard joins National Search and Rescue Council
Ian Coard from Coastguard Riverton has joined the New Zealand Search and Rescue (NZSAR) Council as its non-governmental member, helping to provide high level strategic governance to all search and rescue agencies in New Zealand.
Ian has been a Coastguard volunteer for 30 years and holds a Senior Master qualification – the highest qualification achieved at Coastguard. His commitment to Coastguard at all levels is immense, having been a key player in many projects and successes at local and regional level while also serving on the Coastguard New Zealand Board for three years.
“Ian is an invaluable asset to the wider Coastguard team,” says Coastguard CEO, Patrick Holmes. “It’s fantastic to see him take on a role in the wider SAR community, and with his years of experience as well as his wealth of knowledge, Ian will contribute enormously to the NZSAR Council.”
Ian has been involved in every recent major search and rescue operation in Foveaux Strait working as an Incident Management Team member for high pressure search and rescue operations including the 1998 Cessna aircraft tragedy, the 2010 helicopter crash (where a Coastguard volunteer was killed) and the 2012 Easy Rider tragedy.
“Ian has always been a team player and is highly respected by his peers,” says Mr Holmes. “He holds great mana within the Coastguard community and has fostered deep relationships between different Coastguard units - encouraging co-operation and joint activity.
“Ian commits 100 percent to the demanding challenges that Coastguard work presents and in the process helps to encourage and inspire the new generation of Coastguard volunteers.”
Ian was recognised at the 2016 NZSAR Awards, receiving a Gold Award for his volunteer work with Coastguard and his incredible dedication to saving lives at sea.
Ian says while he was happy to have received recognition for the award, he was quick to deflect the praise.
"I'm only one person in the whole organisation,” says Ian. "I couldn't have got there without the support of my family and the Riverton Coastguard."
As part of the NZSAR Council, Ian joins six other members who have the responsibility to develop and maintain New Zealand’s search and rescue plan, provide strong strategic coordination for all search and rescue in New Zealand as well as policy advice to the government, and establish the search and rescue vision, mission and goals for New Zealand.