A call for assistance came into Marine Rescue NSW radio operators at Port Macquarie at 7.15pm, Tuesday, 6 February from an 18-metre motor cruiser, with three people on board, off Cape Byron.
Marine Rescue Brunswick was the first on the scene and secured the vessel with their volunteer crew deployed on board the Brunswick 30. The vessel had experienced mechanical issues and lost all power three kilometers off Cape Byron as it transitioned from Sydney to Queensland.
The crew on board Brunswick 30 secured the disabled vessel and initiated a tow but Marine Rescue Point Danger Unit Commander Keith Smith said the Point Danger 31 was tasked to complete the mission because of the size of the motor cruiser.
‘The boat was so large, it couldn’t be taken into the Brunswick River, so we towed it into the Tweed River,’ he said.
Unit Commander Smith said Point Danger 31 travelled around 55 kilometres with the disabled vessel in tow.
‘Our crew of six were activated about eight o’clock last night and didn’t finish the tow job till about 5.30am [Wednesday] morning, so while all the people on the Tweed and Gold Coast were asleep our crew was out there saving lives on the water.
‘A watch officer from the Point Danger unit oversaw our rescue vessel while radio operators at the Port Macquarie hub did a wonderful job providing communications along with the Brunswick crew who were first to assist on-water, this was real team effort,’ he said.
Point Danger Unit Commander Smith said Point Danger 31 had a crew of six volunteers on board.
‘We had four qualified crew members and we also used it as a training exercise where we took two trainees down as well, they gained some real life experience in saving lives on the water,’ he said.
Marine Rescue NSW is a volunteer based not-for-profit professional organisation dedicated to keeping boaters safe on the water and supporting local communities.