Saving people at sea - that's the mission of Coastguard NZ.

Coastguard NZ receives around 300,000 calls per year and it’s people like Hemi Manaena who answers.

“By and large we provide a trip reporting service for boaters out on the water to let us know where they're going, what they're doing and when they're meant to be back. The other function searches and rescue. So going out and saving people when their boats are sinking, when they've come to difficulty in the water.”

There are also around 2000 volunteers like Dale Dick who work for the organisation to help save lives, and answer the distress calls, which vary all the time, come day and night, rain or shine.

“We get a lot of different calls. Some of them can be easy, simple as someone's broken down and they need a jump start and then it can go through to a full-blown emergency where there might be a fire on board or they might be taking on water. So I think the main thing for us is to be ready for anything.”

The coastguard says one of their biggest concerns is people not wearing life jackets out on the water, so make sure you wear yours.

And Dick had this warning for anyone taking to the water this summer.

“Definitely take your life jackets out there, but also wear them. We respond to calls for help and we turn up and we say 'have you got a life jacket?' and they say 'yep.' 'Ok then probably put them on, eh.'”

Manaena also has advice.

“We really encourage boaters to carry two forms of waterproof communication with them. The most important is probably a VHF radio on board their boat or with them and waterproof bag so that if they do come to grief, they can put a message out.”

Take care out on the water.