Oonagh Daly
I volunteer as the operating crew for Coastguard Canterbury.
I volunteer at least once every week for them.

What is your touching moment?

One afternoon we had an immediate assistance callout for a kite-surfer struggling in the water. On launching our rescue boat we found that a nearby boaty had already scooped up the exhausted kite-surfer and brought him ashore. He was surprised to see us and awkwardly asked, “are you here for me?!” It was what he said afterwards that really affected me: “I didn’t think anyone had seen me, I was too exhausted to get back on my board”. 

That’s why I volunteer for Coastguard and love my unit; to be on call 24/7 and able to help people when they really need it and so they can have confidence that someone will always be ready to help when the call goes out.  

What would you consider as the biggest benefit of volunteering?

I love being able to use my skills and experience to help people when they really need it, or even just to look out for people day to day. As I’m originally from the UK I don’t have my family in NZ. By joining Coastguard I felt immediately welcomed and have met so many fantastic people. Coastguard is a great organisation that pushes us to be our best and helps us train and keep gaining more skills.

What does volunteering mean to you?

Volunteering to me means helping people when they really need it, supporting the community doing worthwhile work, all whilst being part of an amazing and committed team.

I’m currently gathering stories and photos of the volunteers in our unit to show on our media outlets to celebrate our team and so the community can get to know us further.