Scotland Island Rural Fire Brigade Win Inaugural Merv Collins Trophy: 2019 Combined district fire boat exercise
Saturday March 9th, 2019
The Scotland Island brigade competed in the annual RFS Combined Districts Fire Boat Competition held at Milsons Island on the Hawkesbury River today and won the inaugural Merv Collins Trophy. The trophy is named after the late Marine Rescue Hawkesbury Unit Commander and 24-year service veteran, who passed away in 2017.
MRNSW Greater Sydney Regional Operations Manager Glenn Evans and MR Hawkesbury member Ken Bate presented the Merv Collins memorial trophy to the Scotland Island brigade's Peter Lalor, Captain of Scotland Island RFB.
The competition required teams to complete 5 scenarios: controlling a marina fire, rescuing a sinking vessel, controlling a ferry fire, controlling an LPG fire and searching for and rescuing people missing in the water.
SIRFB took the opportunity to practice using another boat - thanks to West Pittwater RFB. Ten RFS boats, four MRNSW vessels and more than 200 personnel took part in the event. Crews from Marine Rescue Hawkesbury, Broken Bay and Cottage Point joined their volunteer colleagues from the NSW Rural Fire Service for the training exercise today.
Rescue vessels Cottage Point 31, Broken Bay 30 and Hawesbury 22, in company with Hawkesbury 21, under way on the river.
Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons posted on Facebook;
Great to catch up today with just under 200 members of NSW Rural Fire Service and Marine Rescue NSW participating in the 2019 Combined District Fire Boat Exercise on the Hawkesbury River.
Always a day of healthy competition but more importantly, for refining and developing new skills in a spirit of shared learning and strong camaraderie. Thanks to all involved in making today possible, including the Rural Fire Service Association (RFSA) who once again were our key sponsor.
Place-getters at the end of today were;
3rd Scotland Island
2nd Berowra Waters
1st Wisemans Ferry
Congratulations again to our winners and to all who organised and contributed to today.
Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons with SIRFB Members and RFSA President Ken Middleton.
Palm Beach Ferry Runs Aground
Volunteer crews from three Marine Rescue NSW units responded to a Palm Beach ferry that had run aground at Half Tide Rocks at the entrance to Brisbane Water, at 6.50 p.m. on Saturday night, March 9th. The ferry service was on its last run back from Ettalong to Palm Beach.
Rescue vessels Cottage Point 31, Broken Bay 20 and Central Coast 30 were deployed and assisted passengers, ferry staff and Police on the scene.
One hour later a MRNSW Update stated:
'The ferry that earlier ran aground at Half Tide Rocks at the entrance to Brisbane Water is now safely on an emergency mooring and all Marine Rescue NSW vessels have been stood down.
Thirty ferry passengers were safely transferred to shore before NSW Police vessel WP 42 and MRNSW vessel Cottage Point 31 relocated the vessel.
Cottage Point 31 was able to secure a tow line to the ferry's bow and with all passengers removed and a solid 3 knot current, tow the large vessel to deeper water.
All three crews from Marine Rescue Cottage Point, Broken Bay and Central Coast are returning to their bases.'
MR NSW posted; 'Thanks to all our volunteers who responded, particularly the crew members from Broken Bay and Cottage Point, who have been on the water since 5.30-6.00 a.m. to take part in the joint NSW Rural Fire Service - MRNSW training exercise on the Hawkesbury River.'
Transport NSW Roads & Maritime Services has currently listed the following Marine Notice:
Navigation Warning and Advice - Little Box Head to Lobster Beach, Brisbane Water -shallow water in marked channel
Little Box Head to Lobster Beach, Brisbane Water
SHALLOW WATER IN MARKED CHANNEL
Until Further Notice
Vessel operators are advised that the depth of water has been decreased due to the ongoing movement of sand in the vicinity of Little Box Head to Lobster Beach, Brisbane Water potentially restricting navigation to some vessels.
Vessel operators are advised to exercise extreme caution when navigating in the vicinity of the area due to the reduction of water depths in the marked channel. Additional navigation safety marks have been placed in this location to advise deepest channel areas.
Roads and Maritime advises:
Vessel operators are advised that the marked channel from Little Box Head to Lobster Beach remains a navigable channel with areas of shallow water which may not be suitable for navigation by vessels with a deeper draft.
All vessel operators are advised that large vessels and deeper draft vessels navigating in the area from Little Box Head to Lobster Beach may be constrained by their draft, therefore requiring right of way in the navigable channel.
The marked channel in the vicinity of Lobster Beach is a 4 knot zone speed restriction zone. Vessels operators are advised to navigate with caution at reduced speed in the 4 knot speed restriction zone.
All vessel operators are to provide all due care when transiting this stretch of the waterway until further notice.
MAPS & CHARTS AFFECTED
Roads & Maritime Services Boating Map – 8B
Australian Hydrographic Chart – AUS216
For further information concerning this Navigation Restriction, please contact the Roads and Maritime Info line on 13 12 36.
MARINE NOTICE SY1816