With the weather warming up and the boaties prepping their vessels, Marine Rescue NSW know that over the next few months they will be on high alert.
A training search and rescue exercise was held yesterday offshore between Brunswick Heads and Pottsville to ensure local Marine Rescue NSW volunteers are rescue-ready ahead the boating season.
Twenty volunteers from Marine Rescue Brunswick and Point Danger launched a simulated search and rescue mission north of Brunswick Heads yesterday morning in response to a report of a boat on fire with a severely injured crew.
The exercise was supported by NSW Water Police.
As part of the test, radio operators at the Marine Rescue Brunswick radio base received a simulated Mayday call from a vessel off Pottsville. An Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) was also activated.
Rescue vessels Brunswick 30 and Point Danger 30 were quickly under way to the scene.
The crews quickly located a person in the water, providing first aid to the ‘casualties’ before returning them to shore.
Marine Rescue Brunswick Unit Commander Jonathan Wilcock said the successful exercise had provided invaluable experience for all volunteers involved. ‘In addition to practicing vital skills on the water, the exercise has promoted the teamwork and coordination essential for any rescue operation,’ he said.
‘With Australians holidaying at home this summer, we’re expecting the boating season on the North Coast to be busier than ever this summer.
Mr Wilcock said Marine Rescue are urging boaters on the North Coast to do their part to help rescue volunteers help them. ‘Every minute counts in an emergency on the water. Taking simple safety precautions will help our volunteers reach you as quickly as possible if you run into trouble.’
Boaters heading out on the water should:
make sure everyone on board is wearing a lifejacket,
use a VHF marine radio for greater range and clearer reception,
Log On with Marine Rescue on VHF Channel 16 or the free MarineRescue App and
Check the weather conditions before they leave and during their trip.
Fore more information on Marine Rescue NSW and on how to become a volunteer, visit: www.marinerescuensw.com.au.