Nelson Volunteer Coastguard has been "running on string and chewing gum" for many years and a new sponsorship from Talley's Group has given its rescue boat a secure future, president Mark Rumsey says.
The 8.5-metre rigid inflatable boat was renamed Talley's Marine Rescue at a Saturday ceremony on Wakefield Quay and Rumsey said he felt a sense of gratitude "and I'll be honest, a sense of relief".
"We've been great at being on the sea, and terrible about telling people about what we do and therefore getting sponsorship. It's always been sausage sizzles, literally."
Neither Talley's Nelson division chief executive Tony Hazlett nor Rumsey would disclose the amount of the three-year sponsorship but they confirmed it was thousands of dollars.
Rumsey said such arrangements brought huge benefits. "To have a brand like Talley's on the vessel and to have that alliance with them puts us in a very strong position and we really sincerely appreciate it."
Talley's had naming rights on the boat, formerly Nelson Rescue, with First National Real Estate as secondary sponsor.
He said Nelson Coastguard was "a small but very strong, loyal, dedicated team of guys and girls" and was mounting a membership drive.
Hazlett said Talley's had been part of the community for 75 years.
"We make our living from the sea, we support a lot of families in the community from the sea, and we also see when things go wrong. The thought that the Coastguard is here to help is really comforting - and you need good equipment to do the job."
Talley's also won plaudits from Mayor Rachel Reese, who poured wine over the boat's bow as she renamed it. "It's often not even noted, but I know behind the scenes, the contribution that the Talley's organisation makes to this community is everywhere."
She said Nelson Coastguard, which had 25 callouts in the past year, showed an amazing commitment from a small number of people making a priceless contribution in saving lives.
The ceremony was blessed by Rev Harvey Whakaruru, who also took part in the rescue boat's first Nelson naming two years ago. Powered by a pair of 200 horsepower outboards, it was brought to Nelson from Whakatane, where it previously served the Coastguard there.
The Talley's naming rights deal means that Nelson Coastguard has got both of the city's big fishing industry players on board. Its training and operations base on Wakefield Quay, where Saturday's ceremony was held, is the Sealord Marine Rescue Centre.
- The Nelson Mail
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