by Ken McManus
A rescue vessel will be officially commissioned at Brunswick Heads tomorrow, boosting the emergency capability of Marine Rescue NSW volunteers on the State’s North Coast.
Brunswick 30 New fast response rescue vessel for Marine Rescue Brunswick
Commissioner Stacey Tannos will join members of Marine Rescue Brunswick and local dignitaries, including Byron Deputy Mayor Cr Diane Woods, at the formal commissioning ceremony for Brunswick 30.
Commissioner Tannos said the 9.5 metre Naiad was able to travel up to 15 nautical miles offshore, making it a valuable addition to marine search and rescue resources on the North Coast.
'Brunswick 30 forms an important part of Marine Rescue’s strategic safety net of offshore rescue vessels covering the NSW coastline and inland on the Alpine Lakes and the Murray River at Moama,' Commissioner Tannos said.
'This rapid response vessel is one of more than 30 new and refurbished vessels delivered to date at a cost of $9 million as part of our ongoing project to upgrade our rescue fleet through the financial support of the NSW Government and the boating community.
'Brunswick 30 is a significant investment in the safety of local and visiting boaters and also of our volunteers. Built by Yamba Welding and Engineering, it is also an investment in jobs in regional NSW.'
The RHIB (Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat) is powered by twin 250hp Mercury Verado engines and can reach speeds above 40 knots (74 km/h).
In 2012, Brunswick unit members assisted 33 people aboard 17 vessels. So far this year, the unit has gone to the aid of another 13 people on nine vessels.
Brunswick Unit Commander Owen Danvers said Brunswick 30 provided the unit’s volunteers with a light-weight, speedy and highly-manoeuvrable vessel.
'This is a great asset for the unit and for boaters. It is a faster response vessel with much more sophisticated radar, navigation and radio equipment, making us more effective than before,' he said.
'It is well equipped to ensure that our volunteers can work efficiently, safely and swiftly to help boaters in trouble on the water and gives us far better coverage than our previous, 12-year-old vessel, which could only travel seven nautical miles out to sea.'
State of the art electronics installed on MRNSW vessels include Raymarine navigation, Icom marine radios, Furuno AIS (Automatic Identification System) and FLIR thermal imaging camera, along with advanced first aid equipment including cardiac defibrillator and oxygen.
Commissioner Tannos paid tribute to the unit’s volunteers for their dedication to serving the region’s boating community.
'The Brunswick members are committed to saving lives on the water, giving their time to respond to emergencies and attend regular training,' he said.
'This is a busy fishing and boating region, with visiting boaters swelling the local population over summer to take advantage of the favourable weather and boating conditions along this stretch of the Northern NSW coastline.'
Commissioner Tannos acknowledged the vital support of the State Government and the boating community for Marine Rescue’s essential services.
'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 world-class marine search and rescue, radio network and education service for safer boating,' he said.
Commissioner Tannos reminded boaters to always Log on and off with their local Marine Rescue radio base whenever they were on the water. To find your local base, visit www.marinerescuensw.com.au