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Wednesday December 6 2017


Sumner Lifeboat honours members for Six members of the Sumner Lifeboat Institute were recognised for their service to the organisation at the weekend. PETER MCDONALD was given handy skipper of the jet boats the Coastguard certificate for 40 and on the crew of the offshore years service. lifeboats. John has been around Peter joined in 1977 and long enough to see many changwent on to skipper a number es including the introduction of of lifeboats and surf rescue jet Coastguard’s structured training boats. In 1981, he was on the jet programme and certificates of boat Aid II returning from a call competency. He is one of the rare out when the vessel capsized in breed who is just as happy to resurf opposite Head St, Sumner. main onshore as to go to sea. His Although the vessel was written knowledge of Land Rovers and off, there were no casualties. This local geography made him very prompted a rethink of the gear useful as shore crew. One of the worn on inshore lifeboats, pointmost likeable and humble meming the way toward modern-day bers of the crew, he has – with wetsuits. After a stint as deputy typical grit – made a remarkable to coxswain Walter Baguley, Perecovery after suffering a stroke ter was coxswain from 1995 until in late 2016. his retirement from active crew •Blair Quane was awarded a in 2001. He remains on reserve silver bar for 15 years service and has life crew member status. Blair joined the crew in 2002 •John Barton and continued received the the strong link silver bar for 20 between Sumyears service. ner Lifeboat and John hung Sumner Surf around the Lifesaving Club, fringes of the which began Sumner Lifeboat when the lifeboat until 1997. His acquired its first son Nigel was on the crew, and IRB and adopted the surf lifesavhe thought it best for family ing training programme in the relations if he didn’t join up until early 1990s. Surf club training Nigel left. He has since been a produces excellent lifeboat crew

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and Blair jumped right in, training the crew on the IRBs and skippering the jet boats. After the earthquakes, the siren which had been on the Sumner Community Centre needed a new home. It was a time when everyone had more pressing priorities and there was no obvious alternative location. Blair cut through the red tape and had the siren installed on its own post at the front of the lifeboat station. It is great to hear the former air-

raid siren sound again, signalling to the local community that Sumner Lifeboat is active, and reassuring those nearby needing rescue that help is on the way. Following Paul Lawson’s retirement, Blair was elected coxswain in 2015 and has worked tirelessly on the seemingly neverending list of projects which lifeboat continues to produce. •Ashley Rule gained a silver medal for five years service Ashley joined Sumner Lifeboat

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HONOURED: Coastguard New Zealand southern region manager Cheryl Moffat presents Peter McDonald with his certificate for 40 years service.

in 2012 and has attained senior operational crew status in the unit. He has recently taken on the role of station officer, involving general maintenance and upkeep of the lifeboat buildings and vehicles. This important role enables the unit to operate effectively at all times and Ashley ensures that even the smallest jobs like changing lightbulbs are done. Over the last five years, Ashley has been a dedicated crew member, keenly involved in both trainings and rescues and instrumental in many of the station’s electrical upgrades, including the reinstatement of the lifeboat siren and backup generator establishment. •Chloe Harris received a silver medal for five years service Chloe joined Sumner Lifeboat in 2012. She is a senior operational crew woman and has been actively involved in both callouts and training. Chloe brings a high level of swimming ability to the unit and is a great asset for any in-water rescues or training which the lifeboat does. She has a real passion for open water long distance swimming and has


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