New RCCNZ headquarters assists rescuers

Safe Seas Clean Seas Issue 51, December 2016

The Rescue Coordination Centre of New Zealand provides extra space, and flexible working environments, for personnel coordinating emergency responses to rescue beacon alerts.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges opened the new centre earlier this year in Avalon near Wellington - even while the duty team was in high alert coordinating the rescue of three crew from the stricken yacht Platino, about 800 kilometres north of New Zealand.

Mike Hill thanks Minister Simon Bridges.
Maritime New Zealand © 2020
RCCNZ and Safety Services Manager, Mike Hill, thanks Minister Bridges for opening the new centre in Avalon.

RCCNZ manager Mike Hill says the site - in a studio building next door to the old TV tower venue - proved its versatility on the day.

“The fact that there was a high-profile operation underway, at the same time as 120 guests attended the opening, really highlighted the benefits of the new purpose-designed environment.

Simon Bridges and John Dickson.
Tranport Minister Simon Bridges is briefed in the control room by SARO (Search and Rescue Operations) Watch Leader John Dickson.
Royal New Zealand Navy © 2020

“All staff are now on the same floor and there is space to accommodate visitors from other agencies and rescue services, to hold media conferences, and to host families of victims for confidential updates.”

RCCNZ coordinates around 900 search and rescue operations a year, and the number of PLBs (Personal Locator Beacons) and EPIRBs (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons for vessels and aircraft) registered with the centre is constantly increasing - to almost 60,000 at present.

“More and more seafarers, hunters and trampers are realising the benefit of carrying an emergency beacon - so they can send out a distress signal if they get into difficulty,” says Mike.

“The important point to remember is we need up-to-date- contact details in our database, so we can track down as much information as possible about what rescue services - like helicopter crews - are likely to find when they reach the location that the signal is transmitting from.”

To register a beacon or update contact details go to:

Beacon registration

Or you can email or phone 0800 406 111.

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