Records broken as Marine Rescue reflects on huge 2023

Marine Rescue units in the Hunter/Central Coast region completed 1,511 search and rescue missions last year, including 341 emergency responses.

MARINE RESCUE units across the Hunter and Central Coast returned 3079 people safely to shore in 2023, with Port Stephens one of the locations of highest demand.

The combined units completed 1,511 search and rescue missions last year, including 341 emergency responses.

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Statewide, 4786 search and rescue missions were completed in 2023.

All six regions with Marine Rescue NSW units undertook a record number of rescues in 2023, including the Hunter/Central Coast.

Surpassing last year’s record figure, the volunteer water rescue organisation safely returned 10,645 people to shore in an eighteen percent increase in rescue missions across the state’s coastal and inland waterways.

Lake Macquarie was the busiest area for rescue missions across NSW.

More than 80,000 trips were logged with Marine Rescue NSW in 2023, almost 16,500 more than the previous year.

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

Marine Rescue say more than half the incidents in 2023 could potentially have been avoided with better boat maintenance, with 57 percent of calls for mechanical, battery or fuel issues.

“Almost a third of incidents last year were emergencies such as capsized boats, missing people, groundings and fires on vessels,” Marine Rescue NSW Deputy Commissioner Darren Schott said.

“Response times for these incidents is reduced dramatically if a boater is logged on with Marine Rescue NSW.

“We ask all boaters to ensure that they check their vessel’s engine and battery every time they plan to head out on the water.

“Mechanical and fuel issues can quickly become life-threatening emergencies on the water, so make sure you have enough fuel and some in reserve.”

Minister for Emergency Services Jihad Dib praised the dedicated Marine Rescue volunteers for their work throughout 2023.

“The dedicated volunteers across the 46 Marine Rescue units answer calls night and day to keep boaters safe on our waterways, and I commend them on everything they have done over the busiest year for Marine Rescue yet.

“After boating seasons have been impacted by wet weather brought on by La Nina, as well as Covid lockdowns, more people are now taking the opportunity to get out on our beautiful waterways and enjoy the warmer weather.

“I encourage people to enjoy our coastline and inland waterways safely, and by logging on and off with Marine Rescue our volunteers will be in a position to respond if things don’t go to plan.”

4786 search and rescue missions were completed across NSW 2023.

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