Enhancing boating safety in the Mallacoota region

Coast Guard Victoria will establish a VHF Marine Distress and Monitoring service for the East Coast of Victoria from Point Hicks to Gabo Island in addition to the Flotilla operations at Mallacoota.

Mallacoota will become a very popular boating destination for recreational boaties when the new boat ramp at Bastion Point is opened in November this year. The Australian Volunteer Coast Guard Association has received significant support from the Victorian State Government to ensure boating safety is enhanced in the Mallacoota region.

Marine Communications is an important component in the 'prepartion and planning' phase of boating safety. Vessel operators need to ensure they understand the regulations pertaining to marine communications, that is 'vessels operating more than 2Nm off shore in coastal waters must carry a marine radio'. VHF marine radio is the most affordable, reliable and the best means of communicating with Coast Guard Limited Coast Radio Stations.

In order to enhance the communications network, Coast Guard in partnership with CFA, Telstra and the Mallacoota Flotilla will install equipment on the existing Mount Imlay site. This site already has a marine repeater established which will also receive an overhaul, including replacement of solar panels and batteries which are currently the cause of an intermittent fault.

A Telstra coverage map is attached which demonstrates the radio coverage the new installation will provide, including enhancement of communications services for vessel operators in NSW.

Marine Rescue NSW, Eden will have direct access to the facility which is a critical partner in the marine communications field, particularly for vessels transiting between NSW, Tasmania and Victoria.

Coast Guard's Project Manager, Richard Burgess said 'we have received tremendous support from Government, Telstra, CFA and the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's SOLAS Trust to ensure this service is operational before the Bastion Point Boat ramp is opened in November.' 'our timeline is to commission the network in the first week of September.'