THE old Marine Rescue craft, LT 30, 24246, has well and truly weighed the anchor and now sits high and dry beside the base station on top of the hill in Whitbread Drive Lemon Tree Passage. It is soon to be shipped to a yacht broker in Sydney to be sold.
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The good news is that sitting in its cradle at the end of the jetty in the Passage is a $450,000 replacement.
According to Commander Rick Tyler, the new aluminium rescue vessel greatly improves the response time, capability and range of operation.
“The updating of our vessel came about as part of a NSW Government initiative which saw a cash injection of some $36,000,000 to improve the efficiency of the service,” he said.
“The money was to be spent in NSW so a manufacturer in Yamba was awarded the contract. This created local jobs,” he added.
“Our contribution to the upgrade was set at $80 000. We are looking to get around $70,000 for our old craft and with fundraising activities and community support we hope to make up the shortfall,” he said.
In technical terms, the new boat has an aluminium hull as against the fibreglass one of the previous vessel; the twin Suzuki 250 hp. Engines increase by 25% the power of the craft and electronics improvements give out more accurate GPS and radar details. On top of this, more crew can be taken to sea for rescue missions and the craft can pick up a larger number of people in distress.
Extra volunteers are needed to make Marine Rescue a more efficient service. Interested citizens cam make enquiries on 4982 4981.