Council considers new marine rescue centre lease

Location of the proposed marine rescue centre on a portion of Eely Point Reserve.

Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) will vote today (Thursday) on whether or not to grant a lease for a new marine rescue centre on a portion of Eely Point Reserve.
If QLDC elects to approve the new 33-year lease to Coastguard Wanaka Lakes (CWL), the volunteer group will have the go ahead to construct and operate a new marine rescue centre location, which would also include boat storage and space for the QLDC Harbourmaster.
Today’s deliberation comes after public notification of the intention to grant the lease, which induced much local interest during last December’s submission period. Four submitters opposed the proposed rescue centre location during QLDC’s hearing of submissions in late February, yet the general theme of submissions was in favour of the CWL and their commitment to community public service.
CWL wants to locate the new operational base in the left corner of Eely Point Reserve and use it to provide quick access for member parking, boat retrieval and rescue vessel deployment into Lake Wanaka during emergencies.
CWL president Jonathan Walmisley said the new location of the centre would allow his crew to cut their incident response time in half, thereby increasing a person's chance of survival, due to the proximity of the rescue boat storage to the water.
The coastguard currently stores its rescue vessel at the Wanaka A&P Showgrounds, and rescue vessel deployment times can take more than an hour during busy summer months.


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