New search and rescue boat for Coastguard

Last updated 14:02 11/02/2013
Manawatu Coastguard

Test drive: The Manawatu Coastguard’s new search and rescue boat.

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Horowhenua Mail

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Why take the long road when you can take a shorter one, asks the Manawatu Coastguard. 

The coastguard took possession of its new search and rescue boat on Thursday, but rather than transport it 90 kilometres by trailer from Wanganui to Foxton Beach, they chose the more fun option and sailed it 60km across the sea.

''It was awesome and the boat handled really well,'' president Eddie Bambery said.

The 7.5m ''rigid inflatable boat'', custom-built by AMF Boats in Wanganui, boasts two 150 horsepower four-stroke Yamaha outboard motors and can hold 385 litres of fuel.

''We can go all over the place with that much,'' Mr Bambery said.

''Also, unlike our old boat with its two-stroke engines, having four-strokes won't give off the fumes you get when going slow, which we often do when searching at night.''

The new boat came with a hefty price tag of $470,000, however Mr Bambery said it has the latest electronic technology on board.

''We just have to get used to using it now, so there'll be a few training weekends ahead.''

Mr Bambery said they spent two years raising the money from grants and sponsors, as well as proceeds from selling the old boat to the Marlborough Coastguard.

''It was a good little boat but we'd had it for 15 years and it was time for an upgrade.''

Mr Bambery said Manawatu Coastguard, made up of 23 volunteers, would continue fundraising to purchase night vision equipment and an emergency defibrillator.

The coastguard plans to officially launch the new boat in mid-March.

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- Horowhenua Mail


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