Above and Beyond Behind The Scenes 
 
He couldn’t move it to park it, and it was highly likely the rescue vessel would not be able to return to shore, rendering the rescue vessel non-operational during a busy period on the water.


 
Above: Tractor Driver Charlie

North Shore Rescue launched early in the morning on Wednesday 14th January to assist a vessel in difficulty off Devonport.  We returned to Browns Bay briefly before the next call came in, this time to assist a vessel few miles off the North Shore towards Tiri Tiri Matangi.

While we were afloat, our tractor driver Charlie ran into difficulty.  He couldn’t move it to park it, and it was highly likely the rescue vessel would not be able to return to shore, rendering the rescue vessel non-operational during a busy period on the water.

Charlie contacted Kevin Wakeford, a volunteer with the local Boating Club, and Browns Bay’s foremost tractor expert (he’s spent the last 20+ years keeping the  launch tractors at Browns Bay running!).  Kevin left a job site in Otahuhu and travelled to Browns Bay to help get things working again.

Kiwi ingenuity at its best!

After a couple of hours and some amazing Kiwi ingenuity – some vice grips, some No. 6 wire and a bit of cardboard for good measure – a temporary but safe and effective ‘jury-rig’ fix was in place allowing the rescue vessel to remain operational, with permanent repairs scheduled pending the arrival of replacement parts.  By the time the rescue vessel had completed it’s mission, the tractor and trailer were mobile and ready for us by the time we got back to the beach.

8 people helped to safety in 2 incidents, and one tractor repaired creatively to make sure we remain available to save lives at sea.

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