While there are no rescues of sailing boats in this story, the newly amalgamated Volunteer Marine Rescue NSW, along with all the other volunteer rescuers in Australia, has been 'on the job' providing vital services so that others can enjoy their holidays on the water with peace of mind.
December 29, for instance, Marine Rescue Central Coast reports a typical day: It was a busy day for the volunteers ‘on duty’ with Marine Rescue Central Coast. The fine weather had many locals and visitors enjoying the local waterways.
Seventeen vessels with 53 persons on board ‘logged on’ with the Point Clare Radio Base, two vessels registered for ‘Offshore Tracking’ for a coastal voyage and there were two calls for emergency assistance.
Around 1530 hours a motor cruiser with four persons on board called for help. The vessel had a mechanical problem and was anchored at Half Tide Rocks. The duty crew, Peter Ashworth and Norm Smith, was called in and they launched Central Coast Lifeboat. Once located the cruiser was towed to safety at its berth at St Hubert’s Island.
While the rescue was underway another call for assistance was received from those on board a 4.3m runabout in Waterfall Bay also with mechanical problems. A nearby Jet Ski towed the vessel and the three persons on board to the Woy Woy Railway Bridge where they were met by Central Coast Lifeboat. The rescue boat towed them to the ramp Lions Park at Woy Woy.
Marine Rescue Central Coast acknowledges the continuous and generous support of local residents, businesses and visitors. Without their support we would be unable to meet the needs of the recreational boating community, and unable to provide the current seven day a week level of our services.
...and where would we be without the security of knowing that the volunteers are giving up their own holiday time to clock on, register boats and their voyages, and wait to assist where needed? So while holidaying on the water, let us give a thought - or even a dollar or two - to the many volunteers contributing to our safety.
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