by Ken McManus
A new $100,000 rescue vessel will be officially commissioned at Batemans Bay tomorrow, increasing the emergency capability of Marine Rescue NSW volunteers on the State’s South Coast.
Marine Rescue Batemans Bay members aboard their new vessel, Batemans Bay 21
Disabilities Services Minister and Bega MP Andrew Constance, MRNSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos and MRNSW Monaro Board Director Howard Staples will join the unit’s volunteers for the formal commissioning ceremony.
Commissioner Tannos said the 6.25 metre Cobia was a valuable addition to rescue resources in the region.
'Batemans Bay 21 forms an important part of Marine Rescue’s strategic safety net of rescue vessels on our coastal waters,' Commissioner Tannos said.
'This vessel, which was funded by the unit through its members’ energetic fundraising activities, is a significant investment in the safety of local and visiting boaters and also of our volunteers.'
The open Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat is accredited to respond to emergencies on the Clyde River and bar and up to half a nautical mile offshore.
Batemans Bay Unit Commander Michael Syrek said Batemans Bay 21 provided the unit’s volunteers with a light-weight, speedy and highly-manoeuvrable vessel.
'The Cobia is well equipped to ensure that our volunteers can respond efficiently, safely and swiftly to help boaters in trouble on the water, whether on the river or offshore,' he said.
'It’s a great addition to our fleet, which also includes a 38 foot Steber and a Sailfish catamaran.'
Commissioner Tannos paid tribute to the unit’s volunteers for their dedication to serving the boating community in the popular fishing and boating region of the southern coastline.
'The Batemans Bay members are tremendously committed to saving lives on the water, giving their time selflessly to respond to emergencies, attend regular training and conduct education and fundraising activities,' he said.
Commissioner Tannos also acknowledged the vital support of the State Government and the boating community for Marine Rescue’s essential services.
'Our number one priority is safety on the water for both our volunteers and the boating community,' he said.
'The financial support we receive from the Government and through boaters’ registration and licence fees provides about 50 per cent of the annual budget we need to provide NSW with a first class marine search and rescue service, radio network and boating safety education.
'Even with this funding support, as a community-based organisation, we still need to rely on our fundraising activities to contribute towards the $14 million we need to provide our valuable services.
'The Batemans Bay volunteers are to be commended for their tireless fundraising efforts to purchase this new boat for their unit.'
Commissioner Tannos reminded boaters to always wear a lifejacket and to log on and log off with their local Marine Rescue radio base whenever they were on the water.
To find your local Marine Rescue base, visit Marine Rescue NSW