Nelson Coastguard volunteer, Pete Kara, was recognised for his service at the Coastguard New Zealand Awards of Excellence earlier this month. Photo: Supplied.

Coastguard volunteer wins national award

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Nelson Coastguard volunteer Pete Kara was recognised for his efforts at the Coastguard New Zealand Awards of Excellence earlier this month.

Pete won the Communications and Incident Management Volunteer of the Year award.

He was recognised for the more than eleven years he has dedicated to Coastguard, where his many roles include being on the Incident Management Team for his own unit, as well as a Board Member for both the Central Region and Coastguard New Zealand.

But it is Pete’s unofficial role as unit mentor that is the highlight of his achievements.

“Pete has brought into the unit a sense of pride and mana, and has set certain standards that have now become a way of life,” says Coastguard New Zealand CEO, Patrick Holmes.

“Coastguard Nelson regularly works with other rescue agencies such as Surf Life Saving and the Police to ensure they are one team saving lives at sea. He also encourages volunteers to think outside the square and values their creativity, fostering a great unit environment where everyone feels appreciated.”

A highlight for Pete was when he was on the Incident Management Team for the rescue of two fisherman who spent 11 hours on the water north east of Nelson. Pete’s sound advice and knowledge as the duty officer meant that not only were the fishermen rescued quickly and efficiently, but that the crew rescuing them were looked after and had their safety and wellbeing put first.

“Pete is a hardworking, considerate and dedicated volunteer who leads by example and always puts others before himself,” says Patrick. “While he never looks for praise and is a team-player through and through, Coastguard Nelson knows that Pete is the glue who holds their unit together and helps them succeed.”