Coastguard Titirangi starts road to recovery
Two weeks after Auckland's devastating floods, the site where Coastguard Titirangi's building stood proud for 45 years, is now empty. The unit's French Bay building was wiped out by a landslide during the downpour on Friday evening, thankfully no one was injured.
In the proceeding days, a massive clean-up was undertaken by volunteers, community groups and emergency services, firstly to ensure the site was safe, then to salvage the unit's rescue vessel 'Lenses Online Rescue' and equipment stored at the base. The vessel suffered minimal damage and is currently being repaired with the aim of the unit getting it back on the water by Easter.
In recent days, the French Bay base has been completely demolished. The unit is now in the process of finding temporary premises and a location to store the rescue vessel in the interim.
Coastguard Titirangi President Maarten van der Zeyden and his fellow volunteers have been overwhelmed by the community support from West Auckland as well as other Coastguard units keen to help the unit on its long road ahead.
"As West Auckland's only Coastguard unit, we have a strong connection to serving our local community and all boaties who use the Manukau Harbour. Over the next few months, our volunteers will hop aboard other Coastguard vessels throughout the region to ensure they can continue to make a difference on the water and keep up with qualifications and training."
"We're grateful for all the support we have received so far, and are keen to hear from anyone in the community with expertise or knowledge that might be able to help with our road to recovery."
Coastguard New Zealand CEO Callum Gillespie said as one of Coastguard’s three units based on the Manukau Harbour (alongside Papakura and Waiuku), Titirangi plays a vital role in many search and rescue operations where lives are in the balance.
“In December, volunteers were en-route to cross the Manukau Bar for skipper training, when they discovered a capsized dingy with two people without lifejackets holding on. In the changing tides, volunteers rescued both from the water - cold, but uninjured,” he said.
“Without Coastguard Titirangi, we could have easily lost these two lives. We are committed to doing everything we can to get the unit back on its feet and out on the water saving more lives.”
For more information, contact:
Coastguard New Zealand Senior Communications Advisor