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Coastguard and Counties Power make safe

7 March 2019

Who do you call when you need help on the water?  Coastguard of course.  Which is exactly what happened when Counties Power were alerted by the public to fishing line hanging from a power line into the water near Hingaia Bridge, Karaka this week.

The line was posing a safety threat to water users and birdlife, with hooks and sinkers also hanging from the power line.

Counties Power Chief Executive Judy Nicholl says the company, coincidently a proud sponsor of Waiuku Coastguard, is extremely grateful to the volunteer organisation. 

“We called on our local Waiuku Coastguard for their support on the water – giving our line mechanic Abraham Padilla a safe platform to cut away the line after isolating the power.  We are a strong supporter of Waiuku Coastguard and it was heartening for us to watch first-hand some of the important safety work they do in our community.”

Counties Power line mechanic Abraham Padilla says that while his role as a lines mechanic is ever-changing, he hadn’t expected to be out on the water.  “No day is ever the same as a line mechanic, however I never imagined I’d be in a boat. It’s actually the first time I’ve been on the water since I moved to New Zealand from the Philippines five years ago so it was a real treat.”

Waiuku Coastguard President, Ross Tate says helping boaties to safety is usually their role, this safety work being outside the norm.

“This was a new experience for our volunteer crew, and while it would be a routine job for Counties Power on the ground, this required careful planning and safety analysis from our crew to take into account tides, current, wind and of course the added hazard of electricity and water.  We worked with Counties Power to develop a comprehensive safety plan using our expertise on the water to complete the job safely.  After launching at Bottle Top Bay, we used our 4.8m rescue vessel, Counties Power Rescue, to inspect the lines and to see what was required to solve the problem.  We found it to be a small job with zero risk that simply required some nylon fishing line to be cut away.   The line mechanic from Counties Power was able to complete the task of cutting the nylon away from the power line on the spot.”

Please treat all lines as live and report any safety risks, downed or damaged lines or electrical equipment immediately on 0800 100 202.  Never touch electrical equipment. 


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