Maketu Coastguard held another successful community bar crossing training event last Sunday.
The event took place at the Kaituna Cut near Maketu with more than 80 boaties taking the opportunity to undertake training by the Maketu Coastguard crew on how to cross a river safely.
This was the sixth time the volunteers at Maketu have run this training for the public.
It was also the biggest group of people to undertake the training, largely due to the fact that the unit were able to utilise not only Eastpack Rescue but also the new vessel Kohinui Rescue.
“Bar crossing can be one of the more dangerous aspects of boating in this area. As a unit, we cover three river bars Kaituna, Maketu and Pukehina,” says President of Maketu Coastguard Shane Beech.
“In the past year we have saved the lives of at least five people who have overturned crossing these bars. In one day alone we were called out to three separate incidents, and two of them were rollovers.
“To be able to provide this training to the public is great, not only for our unit and volunteers, but also for those members of the community that take up the opportunity to learn some skills.”
The event was supported by the team at AMI insurance in Papamoa, who got totally in the spirit of the day and demonstrated personal floatation devices by jumping into the Kaituna River.
“This has been a very successful training session for both new and seasoned boaties who use our three river bars, and we plan to run another session soon,” says treasurer of the unit Geoff Oliver.
“All boaties using our areas of the coastline from Papamoa, Maketu, Pukehina through to Matata should look to join our Maketu Unit, as when they get into trouble and need help, we are most likely to be first to their assistance.”
The Maketu volunteers are looking ahead to developing another boating/jet ski skills training day opportunity for their community in the not too distant future, so watch this space.
All annual membership fees of $85, received from Maketu Coastguard members go directly back to funding the unit to provide a 24/7 rescue service.
The Maketu unit are looking to double their membership in the coming year and encourage all boaties/jet skiers, kayakers to join up.