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Rescue Vessel Crew


Coastguard Southern Region


Practical Help





As one of New Zealand's 63 Coastguard units across Aotearoa, Coastguard Queenstown, maintains, and operates their own dedicated rescue vessel. These amazing volunteers respond to the call for help 24 hours a day 7 days a week across Queenstown. Last year, Coastguard Queenstown volunteers responded to 12 calls for help, and are the reason 2 people came home safely.

What’s involved in becoming a Coastguard Rescue Vessel volunteer?
The team are looking for reliable, committed, team-spirited and motivated people to crew their vessels so they can continue to save lives on the water. They provide all the extensive online and practical training that fits with your schedule and work commitments to bring you up to speed!

What a shift might involve:

  • responding to a call and reporting to the location
  • responsible for checking personal equipment
  • ensuring all necessary equipment is on the vessel
  • following instructions from your operation leader
  • carrying out necessary rescue duties as per the nature of the incident
  • communicating regularly via radio
  • submitting your incident report as required
  • working alongside a team in a calm and focused manner
  • Attending training nights

What Coastguard offer volunteers:

  • The excitement and challenge of life on the water, on shore or in the air
  • First class training - there is an online training syllabus that walks you through all you need to know to be part of the Coastguard team
  • Leadership and teamwork skills
  • Risk assessment experience
  • Personal development
  • Clear pathways for progression
  • New friendships with like-minded people
  • An incredibly rewarding experience
  • Become part of a team making a difference in Aotearoa

What happens next?

  • Once they have received your application form, the Unit Crew Coordinator will be in touch to have a chat to you a little more about what the role entails, how they operate and our expectations. This will give you a chance to ask questions and see if it's a great fit for you.
  • Then it’s time to come along and spend some time on the unit where you will get involved in a training session or two.
  • Finally, the best part of getting you out on the water to test your sea legs before determining how your application will progress.


  • Good all-rounders who can contribute to a team environment.
  • Physically and mentally fit- you might be out for many hours in extreme weather and conditions and it's important you are able to cope with these stresses
  • Ability to understand and follow instructions.
  • Ability to work with equipment such as stretchers, pumps, and rescue equipment.
  • Ability to swim and tread water.

An added bonus is if you:

  • live within a 15-20-minute drive (off-peak) from our base at Queenstown (not essential).
  • have boating experience (not essential as we will give you the training and skills you need at no cost)

Acceptance as a Coastguard Volunteer also requires:

  • a clean Police Vetting Report
  • passing of the In Water Survivability test

A Police background check is required for this role.

Time commitment

  • Crewing rosters mean you would not be expected to be available 24/7 except on your agreed duty days.
  • You will be rostered on based on your own availability/flexibility.
  • Due to the nature of the role, it is important that you are willing to be available at short notice, at all times of the day and night on your agreed duty days.
  • For those wanting to be a member of Coastguard, it needs to be your hobby that you are passionate about. There are plenty of opportunities to throw yourself into training, so if you have time to give, there will be lots to do!

Getting started

The first step is to express your interest by filling out the form below. We will then put you in touch directly with the organisation for more information on the role and how to proceed.

Ref: 2611

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In applying for this position I confirm that I have read the requirements of the position and believe I have the skills and attributes required to carry out this role safely and effectively.