Two new Marine Rescue vessels have been commissioned at a ceremony at Merimbula this week ahead of what is expected to be a busy boating season on the Far South Coast.
As well as announcing a new housing initiative at the old Bega TAFE site, NSW Premier, Chris Minns commissioned two new marine rescue vessels in Merimbula on Tuesday (August 29).
The NSW Government’s $1.43 million investment in boats, Merimbula 31 and Merimbula 20, as well as an upgrade to the local wharf, supports the vital, life-saving work of Marine Rescue NSW volunteers.
Manufactured in NSW, the boats have powerful Suzuki outboard twin engines and a specialist Raymarine suite of maritime navigation equipment to get rescue crews quickly and safely where they are needed when vital seconds count.
The upgraded Marine Rescue NSW wharf will help volunteers access the vessels safely and securely.
Merimbula 20 will primarily assist boaters on Merimbula Lake and closer to shore while the larger Merimbula 31 can quickly deploy up to thirty nautical miles out to sea to rescue boaters.
Volunteer crew members at Marine Rescue Merimbula have been fully trained on the operation of the new vessel and are equipped to respond to boaters in need.
Premier Minns said the outstanding rescue vessels and upgraded facilities are a valuable investment in the safety of Merimbula’s active local boating community and the many boaters visiting the Sapphire Coast.
“Marine Rescue’s mission of saving lives on the water is only possible with the dedication of volunteers like the members of the Merimbula unit, who can now launch the latest in search and rescue vessels when they come to the community’s aid,” the Premier said.
“These vessels have improved handling and manoeuvrability, allowing crews to operate more safely for longer periods and in a wider range of weather and conditions.”
Member for Bega, Dr Michael Holland said the new vessels are a much-welcomed asset for the community.
“Boaters at Merimbula can be confident that these state-of-the-art vessels are at the ready should they run into trouble,” Dr Holland said.
“Using the service by logging on and off through the Marine Rescue NSW app or VHF Channel 16 ensures that a search will be initiated for boaters who don’t return from a voyage as planned.”
In the past year, Marine Rescue Merimbula volunteers kept watch for the safe return of close to 3,000 boaters and completed 29 rescue missions, including 27 emergency situations.
All boaters are encouraged to log on and log off with Marine Rescue NSW either using the free Marine Rescue app or via VHF channel 16.
Images: Marine Rescue NSW