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NZCT has awarded a grant of $20,000 towards the refurbishment and modernisation of Wellington Coastguard’s operational base in Evans Bay Marina.
Central Regional Manager Lesley Slieker says, “Wellington Coastguard is the primary provider of emergency maritime Search and Rescue across Te Whanganui-a-Tara, encompassing the harbour, coastal regions, and Cook Strait. Their operational base was built forty years ago, and while structurally sound, it has had no internal refurbishment during that time. It urgently needs internal refurbishment to bring it up to building and OSH regulations and provide a fit-for-purpose, safe environment for the rescue crews.”
“Wellington Coastguard runs two vessels, 12.6m Spirit of Wellington and 9m Reremoana. Storage of these vessels alternate between on a cradle in the base and a marina berth. Essential life-saving rescue equipment to support these vessels and volunteer crew personal protection equipment will all be well-stowed to ensure it is kept dry and easily accessible in an emergency.”
“Coastguard are recognised within the community as the 'Go to' people for marine safety, education, and search and rescue services. Their volunteers gift over 250,000 hours and complete nearly 3,000 missions annually. Last year twenty-five lives were saved and nearly 8,000 people were helped home safely by dedicated Coastguard volunteers.”
“The Wahine Disaster in 1968 was the catalyst for establishing a Wellington Coastguard Unit to provide emergency maritime responses in the harbour and out into the often treacherous Cook Strait. The original base was opened in 1982 and since then the internal structures have received little or no upgrades, with most of the furniture and fittings being original. Work has recently begun to develop a fit-for-purpose Marine Rescue Centre, providing the health and safety, crew welfare, and operational readiness capabilities to deliver on our mission and vision - saving lives at sea.”
“This grant from NZCT will help create a base that our volunteers are proud to be part of. It will provide essential and comfortable facilities for crew operations and welfare, including a new modern kitchen and bathrooms, purpose-built changing rooms with storage, and a training room equipped with modern technology to enable online training. Volunteers from other units will also be able to access the modernised base for shared training.”
“The plan for the building upgrade has been developed with the generous support of architects Novak Middleton, in such a way that expensive structural changes are avoided whilst achieving a layout that will fit the facility's operational requirements and the volunteers’ needs for many decades to come.”
NZCT thanks it's local venues in Wellington for the funding to help make this happen.