Winter the time for Camden Haven boaties to prep for peak season

Marine Rescue Camden Haven Unit Commander Peter Cameron and Deputy Unit Commander Neville Adams. Photo: supplied.

LOOKING after your boat during winter might be the key to saving your life over summer.

That’s the common-sense advice of Marine Rescue Camden Haven’s Unit Commander, Peter Cameron.

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Cmdr Cameron and Deputy UC Neville Adams have been re-elected to lead the 67 members of the volunteer organisation.

The off-season gives them a little extra time to attend to administrative matters and their fundraising efforts at Laurieton’s Riverwalk Markets, but their focus on life-saving skills remains constant.

“At the moment, we’re improving our general training to get ready for the peak season, and also completing boat maintenance,” Cmdr Cameron told News Of The Area.

The unit, which is based at the end of Tunis Street in Laurieton, has two primary vessels.

Its specially-built 4.1m Naiad looks after call-outs on the Camden Haven River and on Queens Lake and Watson Taylors Lake.

It has also been used to assist in flood rescues and recovery efforts in the Northern Rivers and western NSW.

Meantime, its 10.3m Naiad is on-call around the clock and goes out to 30 nautical miles offshore – from Diamond Head to the entrance of Lake Cathie.

Most call-outs are due to vessel breakdowns.

“People come to the area over summer and they haven’t maintained their vessels properly during winter,” Cmdr Cameron said.

“The oil may be old and sludgy and even petrol will break down if not used.”

This is why it is mandatory for boat users to have a marine radio.

“Also, they must remember to log-on to VHF channel 16 before they go out through the bar because we have one of the most dangerous bars in NSW.”

While the number of volunteers in the Marine Rescue Camden Haven unit has been steadily increasing, more are always welcome.

“About three years ago we had an influx of people coming to the area, which meant there were more volunteers wanting to look after people on the water and the marine environment.”

But not everyone joins for the chance to get out on the water.

The unit also has roles for radio operators and welcomes anyone willing to help with fundraising.

“We’re not supported to the extent that the SES and RFS are,” Cmdr Cameron said.

“We have to do a lot of fundraising.”


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