Volunteers complete 25 search and rescue missions in February

Volunteers rescue an overturned catamaran at Nelson Bay.

VOLUNTEERS from Marine Rescue NSW’s 46 units across the state safely returned 918 people to shore in February, completing 440 search and rescue missions including 141 emergency responses.

A total of 25 search and rescue missions were completed in Port Stephens.

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Statewide, Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Alex Barrell said just over 60 percent of incidents in February were for mechanical, fuel or battery issues while volunteers responded to 21 capsized vessels including an overturned catamaran at Nelson Bay.

“If your vessel capsizes, it becomes a life-threatening situation very quickly,” he said.

“It is important that you have your lifejacket on, that you stay with your vessel and if you do become separated that you stay together.

“If you can, get out a distress call.

“You can do this over VHF radio if you still have access to it and it is still working or you can try your mobile phone.

“It is important that you have Logged On with Marine Rescue NSW because if you don’t return as planned and you go over your Log Off time, Marine Rescue will start looking for you,” he said.

In February, Marine Rescue NSW volunteers kept watch over 6,152 vessels that Logged On with the Service either via the free Marine Rescue NSW app or VHF Channel 16 while radio operators managed 19,618 calls including fourteen MAYDAYs and six PAN PANs.

Commissioner Barrell said a few simple steps by boaters could go a long way to ensuring a safe and enjoyable day on the state’s waterways.

“It is important if you’re heading out on the water that you have the right safety equipment for your voyage, you’ve got enough fuel for your trip, you’ve Logged On with your local Marine Rescue NSW base and importantly you’ve checked the local weather conditions.

“It has been an extremely busy last few months for our volunteers and I want to thank each of them for their continued dedication to making sure that we are saving lives on the water,” he said.

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