Rescue WaveRunner in Tahiti

Helping people all over the world enjoy the waters of the enchanting South Pacific in safety

French Polynesia is an archipelago of beautiful islands scattered across the South Pacific. Visitors delight to the spectacular contrast of coral reefs and rich green and dramatic cliffs of the islands’ mountains. Mr. Ahini Jacquie, of Punaauia Marine Safety Rescue Center located on island of Tahiti, is one who is proud of their island and the surrounding sea.
“Polynesians love the sea. We love swimming, fishing and surfing; we like to enjoy the sea. Also, I love the sea because I grew up with it. Of course, when I’m sent out on fire or rescue duty there is no time to think about that. The job takes all of our concentration.”
He eagerly moved into the marine safety rescue group when the fire department he works for acquired Yamaha personal watercraft as rescue craft. Now he serves as a squad leader in the group.
“Unfortunately, most tourists don’t know how to enjoy marine leisure safely. They don’t know how fast the tides move and where the coral reefs are in the sea. Accidents occur for these reasons. Of course it is important to try to avoid accidents in advance, but the most important thing is being able to get to the scene as soon as an accident occurs for rescue. Since personal watercraft were introduced, we have been able perform rescue work faster than before. One of the reasons is that a PWC can go through shallow coastal waters that a boat can’t go through, like places where there are coral reefs.”
In order to enjoy marine leisure in nature, there needs to be at least a basic consciousness of safety. That’s something Mr. Jacquie learned from an early age. He is proud to be in a job now where he can make use of his experience.
“I’d love to continue this job and help people at the sea. I am looking forward to the new center near the coast that is under construction now. When it is open and our training program is enhanced, I think we can be even more helpful for people who need rescue.”
Doing maintenance on a PWC after training is part of Mr. Jacquie’s job. He grew up here and knows the sea of Tahiti well
At present, Punaauia Marine Safety Rescue Center has two Yamaha boats with outboard motors and two Yamaha WaveRunners. Training is done twice a week in two-hour sessions. On Fridays they go out on patrol along the coast on their WaveRunners
Punaauia is located next to the biggest city in French Polynesia, Papeete. Beautiful beaches with beautiful coral reefs seem to stretch on forever