New Vessel for Great Barrier Coastguard

When the crew of Coastguard Great Barrier received their brand new, high-spec rescue boat yesterday, they had a lot of people to thank.

Theirs was the first of 26 new vessels to be added to Coastguard New Zealand’s fleet this summer, thanks to a unique partnership with Lotto NZ and Emirates Team New Zealand - 100 percent funded by a $9.8 million lottery grant made possible by the millions of Kiwis who play Lotto NZ games each year.

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Originally used as chase boats during the recent America’s Cup, the boats have been refitted to meet the specific demands of Coastguard service and rebranded for Coastguard units across the country that had been identified as having ageing vessels and limited capacity to fundraise.

Great Barrier's new Coastguard Rescue Vessel (CRV) <ITA>Waitoa Barrier Rescue<> is a 12.5m Rayglass Protector featuring an elevated cabin and powered by twin 350hp Mercury outboard engines. Capable of continuous operations at speeds up to 40 knots, this high-speed rescue vessel is well equipped to enable the team at Coastguard Great Barrier to service the boating public around the island and beyond.

Coastguard New Zealand Chief Executive, Callum Gillespie, says the new CRVs will enable volunteers to continue their life-saving work in their communities.

“It's fantastic to finally start to deliver the 4UNZ fleet to communities around New Zealand - with Great Barrier being a well-deserving unit to start. Great Barrier's current vessel is from the 2000 America's Cup so this community is well overdue an upgrade – like many Coastguard units across Aotearoa. This small crew might serve a small community, but surrounded by water, the unit needs a vessel with speed, capability and endurance to support people across the Hauraki Gulf,” he said.

As for what this first of the new boats means for the Aotea/Great Barrier community – we’ll leave the final word to one of their unsung heroes, Coastguard crew member Brent Henderson.

“With one of the most challenging stretches of New Zealand water around us, we have in the past had to venture out in 60-knot winds and six-metre swells. This new purpose-designed boat will not only help to keep us safe responding to distress calls in these extreme environments, but look after our community and the many boaties who venture this way and beyond.” 

- Coastguard NZ

About Coastguard

  • Coastguard is a charity powered by over 2,000 volunteers in communities around New Zealand.
  • Coastguard receives 30% of its funding from central government. The other $18 million is raised each year through the support of members, donors, funders and corporate partners.
  • Last year Coastguard volunteers gave 291,402 hours to keeping New Zealanders safe on the water.
  • Volunteer crew on rescue vessels, in our search aircraft and on the end of the radio have been dedicated to saving lives for over 150 years.

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