Tinopai coastguard ‘fully operational’

Coastguard North Kaipara members gathered to welcome the arrival of their new rescue craft. From left: James Foster, John Moerenhout, Chris Rouse, Bobby Smith, Allan Crabb, Gordon Murray (seated), Walter Smith and Lance Knighton

Coastguard North Kaipara based at Tinopai will soon be housed in a new rescue centre complex, following receipt of a $111,000 lotteries grant to add to fundraising already under way.

The news comes as the unit also becomes a fully operational unit of the Coastguard Northern Region, with the arrival of a new high-speed rescue boat and two newly qualified local skippers in time for harbour protection and rescue operations over the busy summer months.

“With everything happening, when we got the email from the lotteries commission on Friday, well that really was the icing on the Christmas cake,” said the treasurer of Tinopai Emergency Services Inc, Sarolta Bernhardt. We expect the earthworks and construction underway soon, so visitors over the holidays will see something getting underway. The complex will house the new boat, the rural fire tender, and the fire party first response vehicle, equipped for first aid.” 

Ms Berhardt said the lotteries grant has brought the fundraising total to $171,000.

Skippers presentation, from left: Bobby Smith, Graham Brown, Walter 
Smith and Allan Crabb

“We had raised $60,000 and we have $20,000 to go. We are planning a sponsors wall in the centre, with a brick at $50, a block at $200, and a bean at $500.

The centre will be home to the coastguard unit’s 6.8-metre Niad rescue craft, now called Manaia Rescue.

If a major sponsor comes forward, the name could change to reflect that. It is equipped with twin motors providing a combined 270 horsepower and a speed of 40 knots if required.

Two Tinopai residents, Allan Crabb and Bobby Smith, have been undergoing intensive coastguard courses and recently earned their masters qualifications as Industry Specific Certificates.

“Coastguard Northern Region president, Graham Brown, attended the North Kaipara unit monthly meeting last Wednesday to present the certificates,” said unit president Walter Smith.

“He commented on the training effort that had been applied over the last 18 months and he also congratulated the unit as a whole for their commitment in maintaining a rescue facility on the North Kaipara. The craft will operate with a crew of two, but usually we would have three on board.”

For information on the planned rescue centre sponsors wall fundraiser, contact sarolta@berhardts.co.nz or call Sarolta on 021 270 2135.


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