BP New Zealand’s Managing Director Debi Boffa thanks the thousands of New Zealanders for Voting the Boat to help decide which of the four finalist clubs from an incredible pool of nationwide submissions takes home $25,000 worth of lifesaving equipment.
“Our congratulations go to Wainui Surf Life Saving Club for producing a video and entry submission that told their story so well, and in doing so gained the highest number of votes. We are incredibly proud to know that the new IRB will benefit their club and local community for years to come,” she says.
“I’d like to acknowledge the incredible submissions from the other finalists – Kariaotahi, Waimarama and Oreti – each doing an amazing job of sharing the great community stories around their clubs educating New Zealanders about the role Surf Life Saving New Zealand clubs play in keeping our beaches safe and saving lives.”
Surf Life Saving New Zealand CEO Paul Dalton says as a charity, the continued support and generosity of partners like BP makes it possible for SLSNZ’s 5000+ volunteer lifeguards to patrol New Zealand’s beaches.
“The donation of an IRB to a surf lifesaving club is significant, as they are a major piece of rescue equipment and are involved in the majority of our rescues. On behalf of SLSNZ and our clubs we want to extend our sincere thanks to the team at BP – you are helping us make a real difference.”
Wainui Surf Life Saving Club’s prize includes an IRB hull, Mercury outboard engine, trailer, fuel bladder, rescue tube, two lifejackets (sometimes referred to as a PFD or Personal Flotation Device), two helmets and a $100 BP gift card.
Wainui Surf Life Saving Club Lifeguarding Director Belinda Slement says, “Winning this new IRB is just awesome for our club so we can better support our local community with the best equipment.
“Being part of this campaign has highlighted to us how supportive our local Wainui community and the Gisborne-Tairāwhiti region is. A huge thanks to BP for providing this opportunity to clubs, and we are looking forward to kicking off more IRB training leading into the start of our patrol season. We are so excited for the win.”
More than 21,000 votes were cast between August 26 and September 9 by Kiwis around the country.
BP has been in partnership with Surf Life Saving New Zealand for 50 years and both are in it for life. As part of their annual contribution to SLSNZ, BP donates a brand new IRB to one of the 74 surf life saving clubs around New Zealand as well as providing a BP gift card to all the clubs to assist with their running costs.
Together BP and SLSNZ make a difference - 55,000 lives have been saved by SLSNZ in the last 50 years with 22,000 lives saved using an IRB.
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The partnership between BP and SLSNZ began shortly after the 1968 Wahine disaster. Prior to that, BP's predecessor, Europa, sponsored a surf boat at Worser Bay Surf Life Saving Club called 'Miss Europa'. This boat was used by brave clubbies in horrendous conditions to save some of the 683 passengers and crew that were rescued from the Wahine. The Europa staff were so impressed by the actions of these clubbies that a nationwide sponsorship began shortly after this, evolving into the celebrated partnership it is today.
To celebrate the 50-year partnership, BP’s Every Litre Counts campaign last summer raised an additional $459,050 for Surf Life Saving New Zealand following a month-long initiative which saw a portion of every litre of fuel sold at BP sites nationwide donated to the charity.
BP’s sponsorship to Surf Life Saving New Zealand includes an annual donation, and a new Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) donated to one club each year (valued at $25,000), and an annual contribution of fuel for every Surf Life Saving Club around the country. BP has also launched the BP Leaders for Life programme which is designed to provide lifeguards with a variety of important skills including conflict resolution and leadership skills that can be taken back and applied to their communities and clubs. BP recognises the skills of surf lifeguards with BP gift cards for clubs in the BP Rescue of the Month and BP Rescue of the Year awards.