Photo (L-R) Stan Jones from TracPlus Sponsor of this Award; Doug Griffin, Coastguard West Coast and Coastguard Volunteer of the Year 2011; Colin Small, Coastguard New Zealand President.
The extraordinary efforts of Coastguard volunteers going above and beyond to keep Kiwis safe on the water over the past 12 months, was been recognised at the 2011 National Coastguard Awards on Saturday26th November in Nelson.
Five awards were presented to individual volunteers and Coastguard units in recognition of their outstanding service to the organisation. A special award was also presented to the Coastguard Canterbury, Sumner Lifeboat, Waimakariri Ashley, Coastguard Air Patrol and Kaikoura units for their valuable and heroic work with the earthquake recovery.
This year’s recipients worthy of commendation included Coastguard Waiheke Island helping to bring a crew home safely whose vessel had struck rocks in extremely rough seas and a volunteer’s 14-year tenure with Coastguard seeing him play an instrumental role in the impressive uptake in new recruits and reigniting the Unit’s passion for what they do.
Another winner’s commitment and desire to upskilling fellow crew members was worthy of honourable mention as was another going beyond the call of duty in the rescue of a two men aboard a sinking tug. Another volunteer was recognised for their hard work in driving the updating of the Communication’s Hub for his Unit which will soon be trialled throughout the Eastern Region.
Coastguard New Zealand President, Colin Small says, “Without the tireless dedication of our valuable volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to continue the work we do to keep New Zealander’s safe on our waters and bring them home when they’re in strife.
“We are pleased to be able to honour those exceptional individuals who make it all possible with these awards and recognise the commitment they show to Coastguard day after day without asking for anything in return.”
Coastguard is New Zealand’s primary provider of marine search and rescue services. It is made up of highly-trained volunteers who put themselves in harm’s way on a regular basis to ensure the safety of people at sea. This year 2,224 brave volunteers brought 6,996 Kiwis safely back to land and devoted a significant 348,346 hours to keeping New Zealander’s safe on the water.
“This year’s award winners have all shown outstanding service to Coastguard and their local boating communities, and our sincere thanks goes out to those volunteers for their commitment to saving lives at sea,” says Small.