by Ken McManus
Marine Rescue Units in Kioloa and Sussex Inlet on the NSW South Coast will be better equipped to respond to boating emergencies as a result of two welcome grants worth a total of more than $50,000 from the Veolia Mulwaree Trust.
Joan Noble ESM and Louise Andrews Unit Commander Marine Rescue Kioloa with Cr Geoff Kettle Mayor of Goulburn and Trustee Veolia Mulwaree Trust.
Marine Rescue Sussex Inlet successfully applied for a grant to extend its wharf to deeper water and move its boat-lift for rescue vessel Sussex Inlet 30 to ensure it can provide a prompt and efficient rescue response even at very low tides.
Unit Commander John Lang said the unit currently used its smaller vessel, Sussex Inlet 10, to respond if the tide was extremely low or called in the neighbouring Marine Rescue Ulladulla or Jervis Bay units to assist with offshore emergencies.
'This splendid grant of $36,420 means we can reposition our large vessel boat-lift and also make it easier to deploy and retrieve the vessel from either the north or the south approach to the wharf,' he said.
'In addition, this will provide safer and more convenient access from our vessels to the wharf for the victims of an emergency, especially anyone who may be suffering an injury.'
Marine Rescue Kioloa has received $15,000 towards the purchase of a motor vehicle to tow its rescue vessel to inland waterways and coastal lakes in the Shoalhaven/Southern NSW region.
John Lang, Unit Commander (L) and David Tarbert (R) of Marine Rescue Sussex Inlet with Paul Stephenson OAM, Chairman Veolia Mulwaree Trust.
Kioloa Unit Commander Louise Andrews said, 'Although our base is on the coast at Kioloa for fast response to ocean emergencies, our volunteers are often called to respond to calls from boaters on inland waters and also to launch our rescue vessel from undeveloped beach sites.
'This vehicle will significantly improve our capability to serve local and visiting boaters.'
Marine Rescue Kioloa and Sussex Inlet are just two of seven Marine Rescue NSW units serving the busy Illawarra boating region between Port Kembla and Kioloa. The 65 members of these two units represent just over 14 per cent of the 456 Marine Rescue volunteers in the region.
Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos welcomed the grants and thanked the Veolia Mulwaree Trust for its support for the organisation’s volunteers and their work to save lives on the water.
'The importance of these Trust grants cannot be overstated and the benefits to the Illawarra boating community cannot be overestimated,' he said.