Marine Rescue Sydney Roundup – 29 December 2010 to 12 January 2011
by Simon Denneen
Three skippers had an embarrassing end to their day on the water between Christmas and the New Year when they forgot to log-off at the end of the day. Despite attempting to contact each vessel by radio, mobile phone and land line radio operators at Marine Rescue Terrey Hills were unable to make contact.
'The whole purpose in logging-on is for us to start looking when we don’t hear from you,' said Terrey Hills Unit Commander Ron Woosey. 'If you nominate a time to check-in or arrive then it is vital that you contact Marine Rescue at that time. If you think you are going to take a little longer or want to stay out for a few hours more then let us know. The same thing if you come home early.' The usual procedure is for the Water Police to be informed if the vessel cannot be located by radio, mobile phone or on a shore contact number. 'It can be quite embarrassing to have the police at your door at the end of a day on the water because you forgot to log-off. Please remember that if you do log-on then please remember to log-off. After all we’re just doing our part by starting to look for you when we haven’t heard from you,' said Commander Woosey.
On the afternoon of Thursday, 30 December a 29 foot cruiser with two on board were towed to safety by Water Police after calling Marine Rescue Terrey Hills for assistance. The engine and hydraulics had failed and the situation was compounded by the skipper falling ill with seasickness.
That same night, a vessel in Hardys Bay on the Central Coast contacted Marine Rescue Terrey Hills to report a sighting of a distress flare. No vessels in distress were located. Unit Commander Ron Woosey said, 'Sometimes meteorites or fireworks can be mistaken for distress flares. We encourage members of the public to report any sighting of distress flares regardless of whether they are certain of their origins. If you are reporting a flare sighting then we need to know the colour of the flare; an approximate location of the flare; its direction from you and any landmarks behind the flare.'
On the afternoon of Monday, 3 January Marine Rescue Terrey Hills responded to a sighting of a suspected oil spill four hundred metres east of Barrenjoey Head. The Duty Radio Operator reported it to the relevant authorities.
The weekend of 8 and 9 January saw Marine Rescue Terrey Hills receive calls for assistance from two runabouts requiring assistance due to engine trouble. In both cases Marine Rescue vessels were dispatched and towed the vessels to safety.
In the early hours of Tuesday 11 January, Valerie Maclean, an off-duty Marine Rescue volunteer reported a vessel on fire in the vicinity of the Royal Motor Yacht Club at Newport. 'The crackling sound woke me and when I went on to my balcony I could see a boat on fire,' said Maclean. The Duty Radio operator at Terrey Hills alerted NSW Fire Brigade and Water Police but the vessel was unable to be saved. No persons were injured. Marine Rescue Terrey Hills - called MARINE RESCUE SYDNEY on-air - is the only twenty-four hour, seven day radio base in the Sydney Metropolitan area. It covers waters from Broken Bay to Port Hacking. Radio operators are trained to deal with any situation from a simple log-on to a distress situation. They can be contacted on 27 MHz channel 88, VHF channel 16, 2182 kHz or by phone on 02 9450 2468.
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2:59 AM Thu 13 Jan 2011 GMT
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