Marine Rescue NSW has invested more than $1 million in the safety of boaters on the Mid North Coast, officially commissioning two new rapid response offshore rescue vessels this weekend.
MRNSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos said local and visiting boaters would be even safer on the water following the commissioning of the vessels at the Marine Rescue Camden Haven and Forster-Tuncurry units.
Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams, Member for Lyne David Gillespie and Port Macquarie Hastings Mayor Cr Peter Besseling will attend the commissioning of Camden Haven 30, a $400,000 10m Naiad RHIB, built by Yamba Welding and Engineering, at 11am on Saturday at Laurieton United Services Club.
Forster Tuncurry 30 in front of the Marine Rescue Forster Tuncurry base. - Marine Rescue NSW
Great Lakes Mayor Jan McWilliams will commission Forster-Tuncurry 30, a $716,000 Steber 38, built by Stebercraft in Taree, at 11am on Sunday at the Boat Harbour in Forster.
Commissioner Tannos said the new boats, able to travel up to 30 nautical miles offshore, were a valuable addition to marine search and rescue resources in the popular boating region of the Mid North Coast.
'They provide greater speed and range for lengthy and challenging rescue operations,' he said.
'These vessels not only represent an investment in the safety of the many local and visiting boaters in these two districts but also in the safety of the hard-working and skilled volunteer members of the Camden Haven and Forster-Tuncurry units.
'They are among 39 new and refurbished rescue vessels delivered to date at a cost of more than $11 million as part of our ongoing project to upgrade our rescue fleet through the financial support of the NSW Government and the boating community.'
During Saturday’s ceremony, Camden Haven 30 will be christened Spirit of Camden Haven II by two of the unit’s foundation members, Tom and Lilian Johnson.
Camden Haven Unit Commander Ken Clancy said CH 30 was a great asset for the unit and for boaters in trouble on local waters.
'The vessel handles and responds beautifully. It has improved our emergency response as it is faster and carries more sophisticated electronic equipment on board than our previous vessel.
'It ensures our volunteers can work efficiently, safely and swiftly to help boaters in trouble on the water.'
Forster-Tuncurry Unit Commander Dennis Travers said FO 30, named Cape Hawke, had proven reliable, safe and stable during training and operations since its delivery last month.
He said the delivery of the purpose-built long-cabin vessel was a fitting milestone for the unit as it celebrated its 25th anniversary year.
'The unit is proud of this track record in assisting and protecting our boating community, first as part of the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol and more recently in MRNSW,' he said.
'Twelve of our volunteers have been members for 15 years or longer, amassing a combined service record of 255 years. The commissioning of this valuable new vessel will be particularly special for five members attending the ceremony who have each served 20 years or more.'
CH 30 is powered by twin 250hp Suzuki outboards. FO 30 is fitted with twin 380hp Yanmar inboard engines. Both
vessels are fitted with state of the art navigation, multiple marine radios, Automatic Identification System and thermal imaging cameras, along with a cardiac defibrillator and oxygen therapy.
Commissioner Tannos paid tribute to the two units’ volunteers for their dedication to serving the large boating community along the coastline.
'Our volunteers are committed to saving lives on the water, giving their time to respond to emergencies, as well as to attend regular training, keep their unit operating effectively and raise funds,' he said.
He acknowledged the vital support of the State Government and the boating community for Marine Rescue’s essential services.
'The financial support we receive from the Government and through boaters’ registration and licence fees is essential to our work to provide NSW with a world-class marine search and rescue, radio network and education service for safer boating,' he said.
'Both the Camden Haven and Forster-Tuncurry units also enjoy a great deal of support from their local communities.
'The people of this region clearly value their local volunteers, donating generously and taking part in their fundraising activities such as market days and boat raffles. We thank them for this.'
Commissioner Tannos reminded boaters to always wear their lifejackets and to Log On and Off with their local Marine Rescue radio base whenever they were on the water. To find your local base, visit www.marinerescuensw.com.au