Coastguard Waiuku scoops national community relations award

Coastguard Waiuku was honoured with the Coastguard Community Relations Activity of the Year Award at the National Coastguard Awards of Excellence Gala Evening, held in Auckland on Saturday.

The award is for excellence in the areas of public relations, fundraising or community engagement activity by an individual or unit. Coastguard Waiuku won the award for nine activities, both on the water and land based visits, which lifted the unit’s profile while sharing and educating the community about boat safety, the role of Coastguard and safety on the water.

A visit to Puni School and Waipipi School provided a fantastic opportunity for Coastguard Waiuku volunteers to reach future generations and raise funds for the unit through mufti days. The school initiative was deemed so successful with positive staff and parent feedback that Coastguard Waiuku has been invited back next year.

Coastguard New Zealand CEO, Patrick Holmes, says the annual awards honour the brave individuals and Units who provide a crucial life-saving service to Kiwis using New Zealand waterways, “These awards celebrate excellence in achievement by Coastguard volunteers across the many roles they undertake in serving both their community and the organisation as a whole. In addition the awards allow us to recognize their dedication and provide an opportunity for acknowledgement at a regional and national level as well as amongst their peers.

“Many people don’t realise Coastguard is a charity organisation that relies on the generosity of others to upkeep and maintain each unit and vessel. The Coastguard Waiuku crew has shown their passion and dedication to their community through such engagement and by sharing education to the next generation of boat and water lovers and potential Coastguard volunteers.”

Jeff Millen, President of Coastguard Waiuku says, “Connecting with the community through education, boating support and our volunteers is what drives our community relations activity. No activity is ever seen in isolation but rather a stepping stone to the next opportunity to educate, grow our unit, sign up new members and to raise funds. For Waiuku Coastguard, it’s all about connecting with our community, sharing our time and expertise, putting what we have learn into practice and when it counts most, delivering life saving support to all who need us.”

Coastguard keeps people safe on the sea, coastal waters and lakes of New Zealand. It is made up of over 2,300 highly-trained volunteers who put themselves in harm’s way on a regular basis to ensure the safety of New Zealanders nationwide. This year Coastguard’s courageous volunteers brought over 7,300 people safely back home and devoted over 315,000 hours to saving New Zealanders lives on the water.

About Coastguard New Zealand:
Coastguard is the charity that provides New Zealand’s primary maritime search and rescue service. The organisation operates from a network of four regions and 70 affiliated units, located around the coastline and major lakes of New Zealand. Coastguard New Zealand is a volunteer organisation with a charitable status. It has more than 2,300 active search and rescue Volunteers who provide over 315,000 hours of their time each year to educate, protect and help save lives at sea. Coastguard performs over 2,800 rescues each year assisting more than 7,000 New Zealanders.
There are currently 78 dedicated rescue vessels in Coastguard’s fleet, 9 air patrol units and one dedicated communications unit. All crew members on board Coastguard vessels and air patrol craft are trained search and rescue personnel working to enhance the safety of all New Zealanders when they participate in boating and water activities.

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