by Ken McManus
At approximately 1130 hrs today Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie received a call that there were people in the water near the ‘dropover’ in Lake Macquarie.
Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie volunteers from L to R: Noel Foran, coordinator at Pelican Boat Base; Geoff Howell (trainee), Stephen Davidson (Skipper), Darrel Travers (crew), Peter Shotton (trainee)
Rescue vessel Lake Macquarie 11 and its duty crew were already on the water in a training exercise and were able to reach the scene quickly. On arrival they found two people, a male and a female, who had been tipped into the water when their modified canoe encountered rough conditions.
Both were wearing life jackets which had supported them until help arrived. They were immediately lifted aboard Lake Macquarie 11. The two were believed to have been in the water for approximately 30 minutes and the male person was suffering from hypothermia. Skipper Stephen Davidson radioed for an ambulance to meet them at the Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie base at Pelican. The two wet and cold canoeists were kept warm until the arrival of the ambulance and they were then conveyed to Hospital.
Unit Commander Jim Wright said, 'This is a perfect example of the life-saving importance of wearing life jackets and a fast response by rescue personnel. The tragic memory of the recent incident on the lake when a young girl lost her life in similar circumstances is still very fresh in our minds. I urge all boaters to take heed of the different outcomes of these two incidents and always wear lifejackets when you go boating.'
'I also strongly recommend Logging On and Logging Off with Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie each time you go boating,' said Commander Wright. 'When you Log On you tell us that you’re going out and when you intend to return. We keep a safety watch on you and if you don’t Log Off when you’ve advised us, we’ll take action to check on you or start looking in case you’ve struck some kind of trouble.'
Marine Rescue NSW website