THE END OF AN ERA
Around 1964 when Coastguard resources were stretched Auckland Volunteer Coast Guard stood up to maintain the thin red line with members own vessels and to do that until the day the company fleet was restored.
Members vessels were formed into a Cutter Group which comprised a roster of small trailer boats up to large displacement and planing launches. Some Skippers upgraded their boats three or more times in the Group..
In the early days life upon the water was a lot quieter and boats relatively slow. Not much boating took place at night and the places visited were rather closer to home. Never the less boaties ran into things more often and the work load was always high. As time went on boats got faster and bigger and the whole scene changed. The role of Cutter Groups smaller vessels was taken over by boats from the new Coastguard units and only bigger and faster vessels remained known as Private Rescue Vessels or PRV.
A PRVl owner and his crew had to pass an exhaustive set of boat inspections, drills and examinations before they went on the roster. This was generally at the owners expense.
PRV Masters and Crews were highly respected as SAR professionals by other agencies such as Police and Maritime.
It should come as no surprise that many of them went on to be Senior Masters on our Dedicated Heavy Rescue Vessels and Dedicated Rescue Vessels.
Some became Crew Chiefs responsible for the running and even the design and building of our Dedicated Rescue Vessels.
The ranks of our former Presidents and Honorary Life Members are filled with former Cutter Group and PRV Masters.
And the formation of the Royal New Zealand Coastguard and some of those who became its highest ranking officers came from within the Cutter Group.
Right. The last four PRV clockwise from top left. HAURAKI HILTON G. Brown. GREY BEAR R. Lucca, KYRENIA C. Hope, MARKYLLA S.Fordyce.
Over the years more Coastguard units were formed and put vessels into service. Typically a local service group would put a boat on the water in response to a local tragedy. Often the mandate under which they were formed meant their vessels could only look after a local piece of water. After a few years many of those groups joined the Coastguard family which grew in strength. But until that happened it was the Auckland Volunteer Coastguard who looked after the people of Auckland with vessels at sea overnight on weekends or on call 24/7 covering the entire Hauraki Gulf.
That we could do that was due to the people who served us and the commitment they made to purchase vessels of appropriate size and seaworthyness. They all had what we call a 'bow wave'.
Eventually a fully integrated Coastguard organisation was formed around Auckland Volunteer Coastguard.
The organisation became known as Coastguard Northern Region and Auckland Volunteer Coastguard reformed itself as Auckland Coastguard Incorporated. You can read more about that in Brookes 75th Anniversary Speech in the History Section.
By 2005 the Royal New Zealand Coastguard had eight Coastguard Units located around the Hauraki Gulf. Their vessels had became more standardised but it took until 2013 for the Royal New Zealand mission to replace every one of them with a dedicated rescue vessel that complied with a standard design criteria. That meant Auckland Coastguard was still needed so Coastguard could perform its duties.
The new Dedicated Coastguard Rescue Vessels and strategic unit location and with fourteen vessels now in service having durabliity and speed even in adverse conditions, it became possible to access all corners of the Hauraki Gulf where boating activity takes place in reasonable time.
Our Private Rescue Vessels could stand down with honour from a job well done.
On the 7th of December 2013 the Rostered duty carried out by Kyrenia brought to a close over half a century of service protecting boaties around Auckland on our own keels. Campbell Hoper her owner who already rosters on Trillian Rescue Alpha will take up a command on a Lion Foundation Rescue team. His crew already crew on other vessels so life carries on.
Lion Foundation Rescue and ASB Rescue will continue the tradition on the Heavy Vessel Roster with overnight patrols and carrying out extended missions even beyond the Hauraki Gulf. Trillian Rescue Alpha is on the standard vessel rosters.
But nothing has changed........
Auckland Coastguard in its various forms over history has always used private vessels to do its work.
Before 1939 the Unit did not own a vessel and there are for instance records of the Hauraki Gulf Ambulance Service it started in 1938 being carried out by a privately owned vessel with a Coastguard crew.
Auckland Coastguard Auxiliaries have always been there and are alive and well today. They are manned by the owners who are members of the unit and carry a range of rescue equipment. You can read more about them on the Auxiliaries Page.
The important difference here is that our members privately owned vessels are no longer rostered on the Hauraki Operating Group Roster of Coastguard Northern Region as duty vessels. They will no longer be on the State Board in the Operations Room for tasking to carry out the duties of a Dedicated Rescue Vessel.
But of course we steam around with our ears on and can be depended to stand up and be counted when the situation requires it.
We intend to mark this
This is a significant milestone in our history and we are seeking to contact former Skippers, their wives, sons, daughters and all those who made up their crews. They are invited to attend a celebration of The Cutter Groups work at the Auckland Marine Rescue Centre on Saturday March 22nd. There will be stories told and much swinging of the lantern is permitted.
The Last Great Cutter Group Search.
We have compiled a list of 280 Cutter Group vessels and have set about tracing Skippers. It is a huge task but we want to leave no stone unturned. A list of these vessels and Skippers can be found in the History section The Cutter Group
If you can help us track these people down please
• Contacting any former Skipper or Crew member you know and put them in touch with us.
• Provide information about vessels and their Skippers we have missed.
• Provide information about any Skipper who has Crossed the Bar.
The Board of Management is pleased to announce the appointment of Karen Galvan as the Fundraising Manager.
027 527 3642
We expect to hear from Karen on the website just as soon as she has settled into her job.
Brooke Archbold was recognised in the Queens New Year Honours with the Member of the NZ Order of Merit (MNZM) for his outstanding service to Coastguard, . The New Zealand Order of Merit is an order of chivalry established on 30 May 1996 by Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of New Zealand, "for those persons who in any field of endeavour, have rendered meritorious service to the Crown and nation or who have become distinguished by their eminence, talents, contributions or other merits".
There are no words that can adequately describe what Brooke has done and continues to do for people. His contribution does not end with the safety of people on the water and not just in New Zealand. Brooke is also active with NZ Aid in places as far away as Gambia in Africa to name but one. We are honoured to know you and work with you Brooke.
First time here.....FIND OUT ABOUT Auckland Coastguard from the 75th Anniversary address given by Honorary Life Member Brooke Archbold MNZM. Read more
THE COASTGUARD TREE Coastguard in New Zealand is a big organisation and a quick snapshot of how it is put together will help you understand what this Units place is in the scheme of things.Read more