Marine Rescue Port Stephens Rescue Off Broughton Island

The Marine Rescue Vessel JOhn Thompson (PS31) on the night.


IT has been a busy time for Marine Rescue Port Stephens who have recently responded to multiple Mayday calls.

Three in the month, and two within 2 weeks.

The service is manned entirely by volunteers and the radio room located at the inner lighthouse at Nelson Bay also supports the Rural Fire Service.

This week’s rescue proved to be challenging as there were four people clinging to a capsized vessel off Broughton Island at night.

The call came in at 7pm and the volunteers of Marine Rescue Port Stephens scrambled.

Whenever there are people in the water there is a need to expedite the rescue.

Even in Australia’s warm coastal waters hypothermia can set in.

The team from Marine Rescue Port Stephens were at the vessel within 45 minutes of the call out.

They transferred the four people from the water to the vessel where all four were found to be suffering from hypothermia.

Ben van der Wijngaart, Unit Commander of Marine Rescue – Port Stephens, told News Of The Area, “The crew provided first aid to the one wounded person and warmed all survivors on the trip back to d’Albora Marinas at Nelson Bay.

The rescue was successful.

The speed of response is a testament to the dedication of the volunteers of the service and can partly be attributed to the floating dock facility which is located at the Marine Rescue berths which allows for briefings, and storage of essential equipment

“The night breeze and temperature drop made a fast response important with wet people cooling off quickly,” he said.

Mayday calls are made when life is in danger.

Marine Rescue Port Stephens relies on donations to maintain its vessels and volunteers to man the vessels, radio room and conduct fundraising.




The crew on the John Thompson (PS31), our rescue vessel that responded that night, on their return to dock; Murray O’Dea, Richard Pizzuto (Operations Officer), Barney Pinney (Skipper), Lisa Lodding and Anthony Batchler (Navigator).


The route that John Thompson (PS31) took to rescue the four people in the water.

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