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Lifeboat from sunken ship Rena up for grabs on Trade Me

A piece of maritime history is up for sale on Trade Me, but the rescue boat could soon provide a new lifeline for those in need. 

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It’s a rescue boat that could soon provide a new lifeline for those in need. Source: Seven Sharp

At over seven metres long, two metres tall, and around two tonnes, the rescue boat from the Rena is a hefty beast.

When its mothership was grounded off the coast of Tauranga in 2011, the rescue boat was auctioned off, with all proceeds going to the Child Cancer Foundation.

For kids at the island tavern in Papamoa, it was a playground to remember.

But now it's ready to begin its new life and is up for sale on Trade Me.

Hopeful bidder Sam Dowdell reckons he's got the perfect way to restore it to its original rescue purposes, with a twist.

He wants to convert it into emergency housing, installing a self-contained toilet, shower and beds inside.

"Emergencies can be anything really. Look at Edgecumbe or a house burning down... these are what the boat will be going to," he told TVNZ1's Seven Sharp.

"We want to use community groups and let them use it. They would call a family in need and use it for a home of their own."

He's been working with a team of like-minded individuals to give this boat a new life as a safe haven for those in need.

"I like the meaning behind this. This is really poignant and we hope we won't have to use this for very long," he says.

The big problem is that this beauty is far more popular than anyone imagined.

"Who wouldn't want to own a piece of the Rena?" Dowdell says.

"It was a dark time but this is a chance to make it a positive part of our history."

Dowdell and his team have a plea for assistance from New Zealanders to help them out.

"So what we are asking for is financial assistance. We are asking New Zealanders to come out. Buy this so we can make this happen for all of us."

The auction closes on Sunday.