Dunedin’s new Coastguard Rescue boat almost home and hosed thanks to Lotto funding

Water canon salute awaits for crew that have sailed new boat down from Wellington.

Fickle weather permitting, crew of Dunedin’s Coastguard unit are expected to arrive home around midday on Friday with a late but much anticipated Christmas present in the shape of a brand-new rescue boat, Moana Rescue. And they have a lot of people to thank for it.

Moana Rescue is one of 26 refitted America’s Cup chase boats returning to the water this summer to keep Kiwi boaties safe through a partnership between Lotto NZ, Coastguard and Emirates Team New Zealand and $9.8 million of lottery funding, made possible by the millions of Kiwis who play Lotto NZ games each year.

Coastguard Dunedin crew members have taken the opportunity to put their new boat through its paces over four days as they’ve headed home down the east coast from Wellington, stopping at Kaikoura, Lyttelton and finally Timaru along the way.

Before setting off, Coastguard Dunedin Manager Rachel Johnston said the team was as excited as it was grateful to be bringing the new boat home.

“It’s going to be an epic trip back – and one that will give the team a chance to get to grips with the new vessel we’re lucky enough to be receiving. This will make such a difference to our unit, not just in terms of being able to get out to people quicker but enhancing our safety as we navigate the tricky southern waters and sand bar.”

“Our old boats have in the past struggled to make it beyond the Heads – and when responding to a distress call, a few minutes extra can be the difference between lives saved or lost.”

Coastguard CEO Callum Gillespie says that this will be the first brand-new vessel the unit has owned, having previously had to rely on one borrowed from Coastguard and one bought from another unit.

"Moana Rescue will make a massive difference to how Coastguard Dunedin responds to incidents and serves the community. In this part of the South Island, the marine weather can change in a second so it's vital our volunteers have the best vessel possible to head out when others are coming back in."

Lotto NZ Chief Executive, Chris Lyman, says supporting the vital work of Coastguard units like Dunedin is what Lotto is all about.

“Lotto NZ exists to generate essential funding for New Zealand communities – it’s why we do what we do. The positive impact these high-spec vessels will have on communities around the country cannot be underestimated, with each one helping Coastguard save countless lives at sea each year. This is a great example of how Lotto NZ is all about Kiwis helping Kiwis."

The refitting of the boats from America’s Cup supporters to lifesavers has been taken care of by original manufacturer, Rayglass, with the support of Coastguard New Zealand, individual units and various community providers. Vital new additions include stainless steel framework and the full suite of accessories required by a Coastguard rescue vessel, such as flare cameras, loudhailers, flashing lights, radars and cabinetry for pelican boxes, stretchers and first aid kits.

The boats may have now lost their America’s Cup branding, but Emirates Team New Zealand CEO, Grant Dalton, says their involvement in this unique partnership remains a source of pride for the whole team.

“Coastguard are the unsung heroes of our waters around the country and so it’s great to see the fleet of vessels that supported us freshly refitted and taking to the water again to help them save lives.”

Moana Rescue and the crew are expected home into Otago Harbour around midday on Friday 14 January, to be welcomed by a fleet of boaties and a water canon salute from local tugboats.

Ends

• Media are invited to attend Moana Rescue’s welcome. Please contact Gez Johns, Network Communication: [email protected] / 027 808 8455
• Photos will be circulated to media after the event

Background for editors:

• In partnership with Coastguard and Emirates Team New Zealand, a $9.8 million lottery grant funded 26 vessels to be used during the 36th America’s Cup, before they went on to become part of Coastguard’s fleet of rescue vessels.
• 100% of Lotto New Zealand's profits are distributed back to the Lottery Grants Board, providing a major source of funding for sport and recreation, arts and culture, environment and heritage and community projects throughout the country.

About Coastguard

• Coastguard is a charity powered by over 2,000 volunteers in communities around New Zealand.
• Coastguard receives 30% of its funding from central government. The other $18 million is raised each year through the support of members, donors, funders and corporate partners.
• Last year Coastguard volunteers gave 291,402 hours to keeping New Zealanders safe on the water.
• Volunteer crew on rescue vessels, in our search aircraft and on the end of the radio have been dedicated to saving lives for over 150 years.

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

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