November has been an extremely busy time for Coastguard Hibiscus and with the weather improving, the wind dropping and the sun shining the Waitemata Harbour and surrounding islands have been busier than normal.
We have had some gorgeous weekends where our vessel has done over 24 hours on the water on one weekend alone with some of our very dedicated volunteers.
Most of our work has been mechanical breakdowns however occasionally we also assist our own volunteers! A Coastguard volunteer had taken their vessel to get lifted out of the water at one of the boatyards on the Weiti River. While being lifted out by the crane, the jetty gave way and the crane came down on both their boat, and another one, which suffered much worse damage (see story p3). As they tried to get back to Gulf Harbour Marina, both engines started smoking and they had to shut them down and anchor just outside the Weiti River. Rescue came in the form of a nice easy slow tow from Hibiscus Rescue 1, which took them back to the work berth, slower than normal, as even in slight seas the mast was moving around quite a bit due to broken rigging and extensive other damage to the vessel.
You may have seen stories in the media about a small vessel that was presumed missing but found the next day safe and sound. This highlighted the importance of having two forms of communication. While cell phones are a great option, without the ability to charge them, a VHF radio is invaluable. They key to having a VHF is knowing how to use it and what channels to use.
Coastguard Boating Education have online VHF courses which give you the skills to be able to use this effectively.
Coastguard Hibiscus is run by volunteers and without them we would not be able to operate. As our current crew members move to complete their qualifications to become qualified crew, senior and skipper, we need more volunteers.
We are currently recruiting for volunteers to join us and had planned an open day at our base in Stanmore Bay however the lockdown put paid to that.
We are a great bunch of people who are passionate about boating, increasing our knowledge and making a difference to our community.
If you are interested, please contact our recruitment officer for more information firstname.lastname@example.org.
The cost of running both of our vessels is huge and to support the units each year, Coastguard New Zealand runs their Summer Lottery. Ticket sales are on now until February 14 with the big draw on February 23.
Each unit receives a significant portion of the ticket sales to help fund things like safety gear for out crew, fuel for training, equipment maintenance and upgrades and so on.
Please support your local unit by purchasing tickets from Hibiscus. Email the address at the top of this column for ticket sales.
Safe boating over the Christmas period.