Nelson wins a brand new IRB from BP

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Nelson Surf Life Saving Club will soon have a brand new $25,000 Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) thanks to BP.

Last month, BP launched the 2016 BP IRB Donation for the third year running in recognition of the important role IRBs play in helping to save hundreds of lives across the country every year.

Last summer alone, lifeguards saved over 1,300 lives with around 60% of the rescues involving the use of an IRB.

BP offered clubs around the country the chance to enter by sharing how a brand new IRB would benefit the club and their local community. Five finalists were chosen by a judging panel; Karekare, Midway, Palmerston North, Nelson and Rarangi.

BP staff around the county then voted for their favourite story and Nelson was the winner with just over 30% of the vote.

BP Managing Director Matt Elliott says the organisation is really proud of its 48 year partnership with Surf Life Saving New Zealand.

"We are involved in a variety of different initiatives, but none are more visible or more integral to beach safety than the IRB fleet. It's been really rewarding to hear how important BP IRBs are to lifeguard operations," he says.

"We know it's not easy for clubs to fundraise for an IRB, so we're happy that we have been able to provide a brand new one to the Nelson Surf Life Saving Club this year."

Nelson Surf Life Saving Club president Marcus Gardner says the club is thrilled to have won a brand new IRB as their old one had been pushed to its limit.

"We are involved in a lot of callouts around the Nelson-Tasman region so IRBs really are an essential part of our lifesaving armoury. Our old IRB has taken quite a battering over the years including a large amount of debris going through the prop guard and engine. This new IRB will make a huge difference to our lifesaving operations and really means a lot; not only to the club but to the entire community. Thank you BP- it will be put to good use, I can assure you that!" he says.

The IRB will be delivered to Nelson Surf Life Saving Club soon, complete with an engine, trailer, fuel bladder, two personal floatation devices and $100 worth of fuel.

Every summer, around 4,000 volunteer lifeguards across 74 clubs nationwide give over 200,000 hours of their time patrolling our beaches and helping to keep New Zealand beach-goers safe. BP has been partnering with Surf Life Saving New Zealand for 48 years, working together to build up one of the most advanced rescue fleets in the world.

For more information, please contact:

Lisa Smith, Media & Communications Specialist, SLSNZ
Phone 09 303 9335 or 0276 488 823 or email


Shelley Brady, Communications and External Affairs Manager, BP Oil NZ
Phone 021 715 986 or email