A new $277,000 vessel for the Point Danger Marine Rescue fleet will be officially commissioned today in a ceremony involving local, state and federal government representatives.
The rescue organisation has hailed the new 7.5m rigid-hull inflatable boat named Point Danger 20, as a major boost to boating safety on north coast waterways.
Head of Marine Rescue NSW, commissioner Stacey Tannos, said the ‘state-of-the-art vessel, which is able to travel up to 15 nautical miles offshore, further strengthens Marine Rescue’s strategic search and rescue safety net covering the NSW coastline’.
’It is the latest of 65 new and refurbished vessels delivered to date, at a cost of almost $15 million, under our landmark fleet modernisation program,’ commissioner Tannos said.
‘Providing safe, modern and reliable vessels is the greatest investment we can make in the safety of our volunteers and the boaters we assist.’
The boat was built by Yamba Welding and Engineering and supplements the unit’s larger 11.3m vessel, Point Danger 30. It is powered by twin 150hp Suzuki outboards and equipped with a suite of the latest search and rescue, navigation and advanced first aid equipment, including a cardiac defibrillator and oxygen.
Marine Rescue Point Danger unit commander Glenda Ashby said Point Danger 20 was built and equipped to meet the unit’s operational demands in a variety of conditions, both offshore and in the more confined waters of the Tweed River and its inlets.
‘The boat was delivered in late November and our crews have committed a great deal of time and energy over the holiday period to a process of intensive familiarisation and training on board,’ she said.
Commissioner Tannos said the state government’s financial support as well as through boaters’ registration and licence fees provided around half of the rescue service’s annual budget that ‘we need to provide NSW with a world-class marine search and rescue, radio network and education service for safer boating’.
‘Even with this funding support, as a community-based organisation, we still need to rely on our volunteers’ energetic fundraising,’ he said.
‘I thank the community for its generous support of the Point Danger unit and its efforts to raise funds towards the cost of this new vessel, particularly through our new Great Outdoor Getaway art union.’
The commissioning ceremony is scheduled for 10.30am at the Ivory Coast Marina, Tweed Heads.
Richmond MP Justine Elliott, Tweed MP Geoff Provest and Tweed and Gold Coast councillors will join commissioner Tannos, Marine Rescue NSW chair Jim Glissan, director Bernie Gabriel and Point Danger volunteers to officially welcome the new vessel.
Commander of the NSW Police Force Marine Area Command, Detective Superintendent Mark Hutchings, also will attend.