Coastguard's big new boat takes shape

Published online: Oct 20, 2009 News DENISE PIPER - Whangarei Leader
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Whangarei Coastguard's new vessel is taking shape.

The boat, a 10.2-metre aluminium Naiad, is being built at Whangarei's Circa Marine and is due to be launched at the end of November.

President John Haselden says the $500,000 boat will help the Coastguard reach its patrol parameters, the Mokohinau Islands, even in pretty adverse conditions.

"It has a highly improved towing capacity and has a much bigger capability to take passengers and survivors," he says.

"It's going to improve the safety and comfort for those aboard."

Circa is a licensed builder for Naiad boats, which are used by rescuers and authorities throughout New Zealand, Australia and the United States.

Operations manager Peter Barnard says foreman Deon Ogden is a Whangarei Coastguard crew member and able to add insight to how the boat will operate.

"Rather than building to the plans, he's building because his life depends on it at some stage," says Mr Barnard.

Funding for the project has come from Coastguard New Zealand's vessel replacement programme.

Up to $150,000 has to be raised locally, with the organisation doing many years of sausage sizzles and fundraisers, he says.

Support has also come from the New Zealand Refining Company, Northport, Pub Charities, ASB Charitable Trust and a discount from Circa, which will name the boat Circa Rescue.

Whangarei Coastguard's 6.8m boat will be kept for use, with crews continuing to be based in Whangarei and Marsden Cove.

Mr Haselden says a valuable characteristic of the new boat is its active pontoon system - the pontoons sit on the water when at rest.

"That makes a very stable platform for rescues and helicopter winching," he says.

It will be powered with twin 250 horsepower outboards, leaving a big cockpit.

The boat includes a patient berth and will have a first aid kit, stretcher, oxygen and a defibrillator on board.

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