Sealegs craft are widely used by Coastguard, thanks to their amphibious nature and speed for rapid rescues.
Due to the capabilities of Sealegs, they are an essential part of the life saving fleet of both Coastguard Hibiscus in Auckland and Tauranga Coastguard.
In 2008 a 7.7m Wide Console rescue RIB was added to the Coastguard Hibiscus fleet at the Hibiscus Coast Boating Club in Stanmore Bay.
The craft was custom built for the coastguard to ensure demand was met for all coastguard activities. It includes but is not limited to:
- Fuel capacity: 180 litres; range: 150 nautical miles
- Electronics: 1 × Raymarine 12-inch touch screen plotter, 1 × 7-inch Raymarine plotter/multifunction display
- Radar: Dual Range HD Raymarine
- Sounder: Twin independent depth sounders
- Comms: 2 × VHF
- The addition of the Sealegs on the Northern side of the Whangaparaoa peninsula has dramatically improved response time for incidents North of the peninsula.
After the proven success of the 7.7m with Coastguard Hibiscus, the Tauranga Coastguard added a 7.7m Wide Console rescue RIB to their fleet in 2014.
The craft was selected not only due to it's reliability as a boat but also it's ability to drive in both shallow water and on land, adding a new dimension to the capabilities of the coastguard unit in the areas that they operate.
Tauranga Coastguard are very happy with their craft, stating "This is proving to be a magnificent vessel to complement our rescue capabilities."
In 2015 Broome Sea Rescue in Western Australia added a Sealegs 7.7m Wide Console RIB to their fleet.
The Sealegs 7.7m was obtained due to a Government funded grant, and the operating expenses are supported by the Dfes (Department of Fire & Emergency Services).
Broome's seasonal high tides and lack of launching facilities were the initial motivation for a Sealegs, and it has proven to be better than they had ever hoped for.
Prior to Sealegs if a call was made at 6am they would have to wait until 7am due to the tides. This is because the sand is too soft and muddy to launch their larger vessel, which would cause their tractor to get stuck four times in 12 months.
The Sealegs is considered their Fast response vessel, most often actioned within 10 nautical miles (20km) from shore. The craft is 12-15 minutes faster than their larger vessel in that nautical range, which is essential due to the large number of Sharks and Jellyfish in the waters.
Four months of the year the highly poisonous Irukandji jelly fish are in the area, and having a Sealegs means the risk of being stung while launching and retrieving is eliminated.
The Sealegs also comes in use when tending to smaller jobs, where launching their large vessel is inefficient and unnecessary, and can be used in other areas up the coast, in places that may not usually be easy to reach with a normal boat
Sealegs is prized by Broome Sea rescue due to the ease of use and stress-free loading and unloading, making passengers feel much more comfortable.