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Central Coast News

Volunteers Needed For Third Busiest Base In Marine Rescue District

By Marine Rescue NSW - Central Coast Unit
Posted: 22 Jan 2024
Pictured holding Will Shaddock are fellow MRCC volunteers: Peter Alderton, Andrew McKellar, Ian Morrow, Shea Wicks, Ian Leafe and Jo Coffee.
In the past 12 months there has been a 48% increase in search and rescue missions completed by the Central Coast unit.

More than 283 Marine Rescue missions during 2023, including 39 emergencies, has made the Central Coast the third busiest base in the Hunter/Central Coast district.

Marine Rescue Central Coast is currently looking for additional volunteers, like Will Shaddock, whose efforts last year were highly commended in the Central Coast Volunteer of the Year awards.

If you’ve ever thought about joining the team at Brisbane Water based Marine Rescue either as a radio operator, boat crew or associate, this is your opportunity to get involved.

An information evening is being held at the Point Clare base on Thursday February 8.

Starting at 7 o’clock, the meeting is expected to last for two hours.

There is no need to register, just turn up and find out what the volunteer organisation provides in the way of training.

Applicants must be 16 years or older.

A second information meeting will be held from 2pm the following Saturday, February 10, 2024.

Mr Morrow confirmed that the new Central Coast headquarters is “on the go” again.

“It’s an exciting time ahead for the Central Coast unit, with the construction of the new two-story multi-million dollar state-of-the-art HQ building on the banks of Brisbane Water at Point Clare,” said the Unit Commander.

Volunteer Treasurer Shea Wicks says that Marine Rescue’s motto is “saving lives on the water”, and, apart from great camaraderie, “it’s wonderful to know we’re helping local boaties.”

Figures released by Marine Rescue NSW this week reveal nearly 600 people were safely returned to shore by the Central Coast unit last year.

Marine Rescue NSW radio operators had a busy 2023, managing 258,742 radio calls – or a call every two minutes.

Unit Commander Ian Morrow said the incidents included sinking vessels, boats running aground, flat batteries, engine difficulties and “bad fuel”, caused from fuel sitting dormant in the petrol tank for too long.

“More than half the incidents in 2023 could potentially have been avoided with better boat maintenance, with 57 per cent of calls for mechanical, battery or fuel issues.

“We’re here to help 24/7. Marine Rescue is always here to help,” said Mr Morrow, adding that boat owners should always conduct a safety check before setting out on the water.

“Check the petrol tank and make sure it’s full. Either carry a spare battery or change it regularly,” he said.

Boat users are urged to follow these steps to stay safe this boating season:

• Log On and Off with Marine Rescue via VHF Channel 16 or use the free Marine Rescue NSW app available for iOS and Android devices.

• Make sure everyone on board is wearing a lifejacket.

• Make sure your vessel’s engine and battery are working.

• Make sure you have enough fuel and some in reserve.

The Point Clare base is located at Goodaywang Reserve, at the northern end of Kurrawa Avenue, on the eastern side of the railway line.

More information can be found on the Marine Rescue Central Coast Face Book page here.

 
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