ILT Foundation responds to call

NEIL RATLEY
Last updated 05:00 22/02/2014

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The Bluff Coastguard's battle to build a bigger, faster boat has received financial backing from the ILT Foundation.

The foundation has provided a contribution of $50,000 to the MayDay Appeal.

Chairman Alan Dennis said the foundation trustees were delighted to support such a vital service in the region.

"Our view is that a new rescue vessel for Coastguard Bluff is an absolute ‘must have' to help keep our community safe on the often treacherous waters of Foveaux Strait," he said.

Bluff Coastguard Fundraising Committee chairman Jon Turnbull said the group was thrilled to hear that a request for support to the ILT Foundation was approved.

"Our coastguard volunteers are very appreciative of the ILT Foundation's support," he said.

The ageing Coastguard boat was at risk of unexpected breakdown or equipment failure and there was concern about the size of the boat when conditions on the strait deteriorated, he said.

The foundation's contribution brings the fundraising campaign total to close to $700,000 or 60 per cent of the target.

Bluff Coastguard president Andy Johnson said as the number of people out on the strait increased volunteers needed to be well-equipped and trained. "The new vessel will help keep our volunteers safe when they are called on to respond to an emergency."

Along with the foundation's contribution, the generosity of other businesses and people from across Southland continued to surprise the organisation, he said.

A further $5895 was also given this week, including from another fishing company digging deep into its pocket, he said.

The MayDay campaign would have a presence at today's wild food festival. The Bluff Coastguard will also have its boat on display outside the Bluff Lotto shop on Wednesday between 11am and 2pm. neil.ratley@stl.co.nz

The Bluff Coastguard needs your help to raise a total of $1.2 million for its new boat. To help the coastguard save lives, donations can be made to an account at the SBS Bank: 03-1355-0769972-00

DONATIONS THIS WEEK

Rakiura Rides, Mr R A Johnston, NA and KM Grant, M10 Mega, AM and JR Crosbie and ME and DJ Crosbie, R Wilson – United Fisheries.

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