Minister for Emergency Services, Jihad Dib, and Bega MP, Dr Michael Holland, welcomed a new $375,000 Marine Rescue NSW vessel on the South Coast on Tuesday (July 26).
The new vessel which will provide a significant boost for the Batemans Bay community, was funded by the NSW Government and community donations, was officially commissioned ‘Batemans Bay 21’.
Mr Dib said the new vessel is a vital addition to support the life-saving work of Marine Rescue NSW volunteers.
“This rescue boat has the speed and technology to quickly and safely get rescue crews where they are needed when vital seconds count,” Mr Dib said.
“This outstanding rescue vessel is a valuable investment in the safety of Batemans Bay and the Batemans Coast’s active local boating community and its many visiting boaters.”
Mr Dib also encouraged all boaters to Log On and Log Off with Marine Rescue NSW either by the free Marine Rescue app or via VHF channel 16.
“Using the Marine Rescue app or establishing contact through VHF Channel 16 ensures that a search will be initiated for boaters who don’t return from a voyage as planned,” Mr Dib said.
Member for Bega, Dr Michael Holland, said the new rescue vessel is a much welcomed asset for the community.
“Boaters at Batemans Bay can rest easier knowing that this state-of-the-art vessel is at the ready should they run into trouble,” Dr Holland said.
“Volunteer crew members at Marine Rescue Batemans Bay have been fully trained on the operation of the new vessel and are ready to respond to boaters in need.”
Powered by twin 115 horsepower Suzuki outboard engines and with a specialist Raymarine suite of maritime navigation equipment, the vessel is a 6.3 metre walk-through centre console Naiad.
Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner, Alex Barrell, said the replacement rescue boat was designed and built to meet demanding local operating conditions and would prove a reassuring presence for locals and visitors alike.
“As well as assisting boaters on Batemans Bay, the Clyde River and surrounds, this vessel can also quickly deploy up to seven nautical miles out to sea to rescue boaters who find themselves in trouble offshore.”
“In the first six months of this year the Batemans Bay unit has been incredibly busy assisting boaters, completing 75 rescue missions, 46 of which were emergencies,” Commissioner Barrell said.
Marine Rescue Batemans Bay Unit Commander, Rod Ingamells, thanked the local community for its generous support of the unit’s fundraising efforts to contribute 20 per cent of the cost of the new vessel.
He said the new vessel was a significant improvement over the unit’s former 6.2 metre Cobia rescue boat.
“The upgraded search and rescue technology on board has improved our search capability, which is vital to our mission of saving lives on the water,” he said.
“With improved handling and manoeuvrability and greater volunteer comfort, our crews are able to operate more safely for longer periods and in a wider range of weather and conditions,” Mr Ingamells said.
Minister Dib also presented National Emergency Medals to Marine Rescue Batemans Bay members Rod Ingamells, Amanda Thompson, Peter Poole, John Dolgan, David Murn, Peter Bladwell and Michael Syrek and Narooma’s Ian Noormets for their operational services during the 2019/20 bushfire emergency.
Marine Rescue NSW is a volunteer based not-for-profit professional organisation dedicated to keeping boaters safe on the water and supporting local communities.
Video grabs of NSW Emergency Services Minister Jihad Dib, Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Alex Barrell and Batemans Bay Unit Commander Rod Ingamells are in the video link below along with b-roll of today’s ceremony.
Images: Marine Rescue NSW