It started with
a light plane crash, the circumstances of which have their own story,
where several of the passengers perished in the freezing cold waters
Foveaux Strait, a narrow stretch of water between Stewart Island and
the bottom of the South Island of New Zealand.
The pilot very successfully landed the plane on the sea and all escaped the sinking
plane without injury only to freeze while waiting for rescue.
Riverton Coastguard in their 6.8 metre Naiad were first on the scene and able
to pick up the survivors and those who perished except for 7 year old Russell
John Chisholm who had perished with
the cold and slipped away to the depths, his body was never recovered.
Spirit of Russell
From this tragedy it became apparent that the Naiad 6.8 was too small
to handle that number of survivors and bodies adequately and that the speed and
of the Naiad was paramount to saving the lives of those who now live on.
The family and friends of Russell John Chisholm were very grateful and very impressed
with the Coastguard unit and the vessel so now thanks to them the spirit of Russell
lives on in the brand new state of the art 8.5 metre Naiad. Russells father
said he was a spirited young lad who loved the sea and particularly the thrill
of fast boats so would of loved the feel of this RIB.
Powered by twin
225hp Yamahas it has a GPS recorded top speed of 53 knots and its sure
footed, easy handling nature ensures the shortest time to a stricken
and people in peril.
This gift to the Riverton Coastguard to serve the people who use
Foveaux Strait is an extraordinarily generous gesture by Russells
family and friends. This Naiad 8.5 can reach out to a 130 nautical mile
radius, is fitted with radio, directional finder, GPS plotter, radar,
two marine VHFs, aviation VHF and cell phone as part of its long list
of navigation, communication and rescue equipment.
It is the latest and most sophisticated rescue boat in the New
Zealand Coastguard fleet.