America's Cup 2021: Emirates Team New Zealand not only important team out on water

While Emirates Team New Zealand get closer to defending the America's Cup, there's another important team spending time out on the water.  

St John event health services is working with Auckland Coastguard to deliver medical support for those heading out to watch the events.

America's Cup fans may not be convinced that the Coastguard boat is the most important boat on the water right now, instead of perhaps the Team NZ boat Te Rehutai, but in terms of spectator safety, it's the truth. 

"Our role is essentially to be available for the members of the public out on the water and if something was to happen, then to be there for the race boats as well," says St John head of event health services Simon Barnett.

St John paramedics are on board with the Auckland Coastguard, working to provide medical support throughout the America's Cup events. 

"The boat we're on at the moment - Lion Foundation Rescue - will be on the water for every race day as the primary medical support vessel," says Auckland Coastguard general manager and senior master Graeme Ogg.

Which is even more important, as Auckland's Harbour fills up with crowds of spectators. The final week is expected to be extra busy. 

"Scenario planning is looking at 3-4000 boats," says Ogg.  

Two St John paramedics are out on the water on separate Coastguard boats for the event, with a full team back on land. 

Medical support has already been given a trial run during the pre-Christmas racing. 

"During the Christmas Cup, everyone was pretty well behaved," Barnett says.

"We had three medical incidents on the boats for the public and we had a number of what you'd kind of expect in the race village as well on a hot day, so heat exhaustion, headaches... that sort of thing."

The emergency services are a key part of a successful three months. 

America's Cup Event chief operating officer Steve Dunbar says the team are important in ensuring a smooth-running event.

"We want to deliver an event that can ensure that the teams or the syndicates can perform at their best on the water, but we want all of our fans to have an enjoyable time, whether it's on the water or in the village."

Join us at 3pm Sunday for live updates of America's Cup challenger racing