The Motueka Brass Band entertain the crowds at Sunderland Marine Pier on Saturday. Photo: Sara Hollyman.

Those lost at sea remembered


Family members lost at sea were remembered on Saturday with a minute’s silence at the annual Blessing of the Fleet.

The blessing was on Saturday led by Archdeacon Andy Joseph, Reverend Jeff Cotton and Father Bill Warwick, who all gave prayers for seafarers and officially blessed the assembled fishing fleet for the coming season.

The event commemorates those who have lost their lives at sea and blesses the local fishing fleet to have safe passage for the following year.

The blessing is normally held earlier in the year, to coincide with the start of the busy hoki season, but due to damage to Wakefield Quay from storms earlier in the year, it was delayed until Saturday.

The Motueka Brass Band and The Nelson College for Girls choir entertained the large crowd while vessels of all shapes and sizes gathered in front of the memorial for the blessing.

There was a range of demonstrations and stalls showing off local marine produce. The Rotary club ran their popular fish and chip stand, and fresh fish was filleted and auctioned off.

The highlight was a demonstration by the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter which showed the crowd just how quickly it can winch a paramedic onto a fishing boat and bring the injured patient back up to the helicopter.