by Ken McManus
CYCA SOLAS Trusts has presented the State’s official volunteer marine rescue service, Marine Rescue NSW, with a grant for $36,400 to improve its VHF Digital Selective Calling (DSC) radio coverage along the NSW coastline in a significant boost to marine safety.
CYCA SOLAS Trusts Chairman Matt Allen and MRNSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos ESM
CYCA SOLAS Trusts Chairman Matt Allen presented the funding to MRNSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia in Sydney.
Commissioner Tannos said the grant would fund a project to improve the VHF DSC infrastructure at the 15 MRNSW Search and Rescue Coordination Centres (SARCC) along the NSW coastline and the central Sydney communications base at Terrey Hills.
'I would like to thank the CYCA SOLAS Trusts for their continuing support for the work of our volunteers to assist and protect the boating community of NSW,' he said.
'This grant, along with the funding we have gratefully received in previous years, means we have been able to escalate a number of safety projects.
'DSC radio technology is a valuable development in allowing boaters to summon help quickly with the single push of a button.
'It is increasingly being used by the recreational boating community, in addition to its established use in the commercial shipping industry.
'The installation of the new high-performance radio equipment in our SARCC radio rooms will greatly enhance our DSC radio coverage for sailors and boaters.
'The use of this commercial standard equipment and the sensitivity, reliability and stability it offers, will provide those at sea with a greater level of assurance that their distress signal will be detected and a search and rescue operation rapidly activated in the case of an emergency.'
CYCA SOLAS Trusts Chairman Matt Allen said the DSC grant followed funding of $45,500 provided to MRNSW in 2011 towards the installation of a VHF repeater on Cambewarra Mountain and upgrading the Eden radio base.
'I am aware that the new technology at Eden performed above expectations during the base’s safety monitoring of last year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, boosting the base’s watch capabilities,' Mr Allen said.
'The Cambewarra Mountain repeater also proved its worth soon after its installation, boosting communications during a night operation by Marine Rescue Ulladulla some 30 nautical miles off the coast.
'The CYCA SOLAS Trusts is delighted to provide the funding for this important DSC project. This new grant will allow MRNSW to continue to provide the vital service required to cover the enormous area that falls under its responsibility.
'The CYCA SOLAS Trusts continues to actively contribute to key volunteer marine, search and rescue organisations,' Mr Allen said.
The CYCA Sydney Hobart Yacht Race Safety of Life at Sea Trusts (SOLAS) was set up as a charitable trust in 1999 as a result of the tragic events of the 1998 Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. The CYCA SOLAS Trusts objectives are to:
• Provide assistance (financial and other) to immediate families of those lost at sea during Yachting Australia sanctioned races
• Make donations and provide support to search and rescue organisations
• Foster and fund research and training to improve safety and rescue procedures and equipment used in ocean races.
Since they were established, following the loss of life in the 1998 Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, the Trusts have donated more than $770,000 to organisations nationwide including New South Wales, Tasmania, South Australia, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and the ACT, and the Trusts continues to explore new organisations to support.