After Rob Goodacre christened the Brunswick 30, he was presented with a plaque by current boat captain Lazlo Szabo, which will be installed in the cabin of the new boat in honour of Rob’s years of service to marine rescue.
Story and photo Eve Jeffery
With the ringing of a bell and the splashing of some bubbly, the northern rivers’ latest lifesaver was commissioned yesterday at Brunswick Heads.
Close to 200 guests from local and statewide emergency, rescue and police services came to see the launch of the vessel’s working life. At a cost of $340,000 Brunswick 30 was officially commissioned at a ceremony at the Brunswick Heads Boat Harbour, boosting the emergency capability of Marine Rescue NSW volunteers on the state’s north coast.
Marine Rescue NSW commissioner Stacey Tannos said the boat, a 9.5 metre Naiad, was able to travel up to 15 nautical miles offshore, making it a valuable addition to marine search and rescue resources on the north coast. ‘Brunswick 30 forms an important part of Marine Rescue’s strategic safety net of offshore rescue vessels covering the NSW coastline and inland on the alpine lakes and the Murray River at Moama,’ commissioner Tannos said.
‘This rapid-response vessel is one of more than 30 new and refurbished vessels delivered to date at a cost of $9 million as part of our ongoing project to upgrade our rescue fleet through the financial support of the NSW government and the boating community.’
Commissioner Tannos said the vessel is a significant investment in the safety of local and visiting boaters and also of the volunteers.
‘Built by Yamba Welding and Engineering, it is also an investment in jobs in regional NSW,’ he said.
The RHIB (Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat) is powered by twin 250hp Mercury Verado engines and can reach speeds above 40 knots (74km/h).
In 2012, Brunswick unit members assisted 33 people aboard 17 vessels. So far this year, the unit has gone to the aid of another 13 people on nine vessels.
Brunswick unit commander Owen Danvers said Brunswick 30 provided the unit’s volunteers with a lightweight, speedy and highly manoeuvrable vessel. ‘This is a great asset for the unit and for boaters,’ he said. ‘It is a faster response vessel with much more sophisticated radar, navigation and radio equipment, making us more effective than before.’
Mr Danvers said the boat is well equipped to ensure that the service’s volunteers can work efficiently, safely and swiftly to help boaters in trouble on the water.
‘It gives us far better coverage than our previous, 12-year-old vessel, which could only travel seven nautical miles out to sea.’
After the ‘official’ portion of the ceremony was over, in a ritual dating back to the ancient Greeks, Rob Goodacre, who clocked up 22 years as the previous boat’s captain, poured wine over the vessel’s bow and declared it christened, the Brunswick Three Zero.
In recognition of his tireless service and contribution to Marine Rescue Brunswick Heads, a plaque bearing his name will grace the cabin of Brunswick 30 in his honour.
Boaters are reminded to always log on and off with their local Marine Rescue radio base whenever they are on the water. To find your local base, visit www.marinerescuensw.com.au