Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner urges boaters to avoid preventable incidents

MARINE Rescue NSW volunteers across the state completed 293 search and rescue missions in November, including 88 emergency responses.

Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Alex Barrell said 69% of missions in November were for mechanical or fuel issues which can quickly become life-threatening if a vessel runs aground or overturns.

“Unfortunately, what we’ve seen during November is that far too many boaters are getting into difficulty for what we class as avoidable incidents, things like running out of fuel and flat batteries and that’s really disappointing from our side of things,” Commissioner Barrell said.

With large numbers expected to hit NSW waterways this holiday season, Commissioner Barrell is pleading with boaters to ensure their vessel and safety equipment is in good working order.

“Marine Rescue New South Wales is urging all boaters before they head out on the water to make sure that they check their equipment, make sure that they’ve got enough fuel for their voyage and importantly, they Log On with their local Marine Rescue base,” he said.

Almost 10% of responses by Marine Rescue NSW volunteers last month were for capsized or grounded vessels while 11 missing persons searches were conducted.

Marine Rescue NSW Radio Operators managed 16,736 calls in November including six MAYDAYs and two PAN PANs.

There were 4,699 Log Ons last month which was up on October with Marine Rescue NSW volunteers keeping watch over more than 17,700 people on board those Logged On vessels.

Commissioner Barrell was pleased to see growth in the number of people Logging On with the Service.

“We’re urging boaters and paddlers alike to Log On with Marine Rescue NSW before they head out on the water.

“We know that it saves vital minutes in the time of need and we know that if you don’t return as planned that we’ll come looking for you,” he said.

Commissioner Barrell said boaters and paddlers can Log On with Marine Rescue NSW either via the free Marine Rescue app or VHF Marine Channel 16.

“It’s a minute to log on with Marine Rescue, a lifetime to protect and we urge all boaters to boat this summer like your life depends on it,” the Commissioner said.

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