October 2 - 15, 2022: Issue 557


Big Turnout For Start Of Boating Season With Key Message: Please Stay Safe On The Water This Summer + $540,000 Investment In Volunteer Safety

Marine Rescue Broken Bay Members.

Maritime operators and first responders joined forces on Sydney Harbour on Friday September 30th to deliver strong safety messages on how to keep safe on the State’s waterways this summer. 

Minister for Transport, Veterans and Western Sydney David Elliott said the display of all emergency services highlighted the strength, capability and inter-agency cooperation of our first responders. 

“This weekend is the start of the Boating Season so we are calling on all watercraft users, boating enthusiasts and swimmers to make safety their priority when they head out to the rivers, lakes and beaches this season,” Mr Elliott said. 

“The NSW Government is committed to ensuring our first responders and emergency services personnel from NSW Maritime, NSW Police, Marine Rescue NSW, Surf Life Saving NSW, and NSW Ambulance Helicopter Operations are all highly trained and have the latest technology to keep people safe this boating season,” 

“Our goal is to make sure everyone has a safe season and knows the basic safety measures they can take to ensure they make it home safely.” 

Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said persistent wet weather and a third consecutive La Nina declared, large numbers of people are expected around waterways this season. 

“The higher than average rainfall in recent times hasn’t stopped people enjoying our beautiful waterways and coastline and we hope that continues safely this Boating Season,” Ms Cooke said. 

“Whether you’re fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding, water skiing or heading to the beach please listen to advice from the agencies and our volunteers to make sure you and your loved ones have a fun but safe day.” 

Transport for NSW Acting Chief Operations Officer and NSW Maritime Executive Director Mark Hutchings said the season launch coincided with the start of National Safe Boating Week (1-7 October), with lifejacket wearing the key message.

“Now is the time to get ready for the season.  With many boats sitting idle during winter, it’s critical that boaters check their vessels and safety equipment before heading out on the water,” Mr Hutchings said. 

NSW Police Force Marine Area Commander Detective Superintendent Murray Reynolds reminded boat owners to plan their trips and that officers will be out patrolling waterways. 

“Police will be targeting anti-social behaviour and illegal activities on our waterways. Skippers are reminded that drug and alcohol testing, as well as compliance checks will be conducted – so look after your friends and family and act responsibly,” Superintendent Reynolds said. 

Marine Rescue NSW Deputy Commissioner Alex Barrell said the last two years have been their busiest on record with more than 8,000 rescue missions Statewide, and a few simple precautions can help ensure a safe and enjoyable day on the water.  

“Check your vessel’s engine and battery are in good working order, the fuel tank is full and make sure you’ve Logged On with us, we’ll start searching if you don’t return as planned,” Deputy Commissioner Barrell said. 

Surf Life Saving NSW CEO Steve Pearce said people should avoid taking unnecessary risks after a record 55 drownings along the coastline last season which is almost 30 per cent higher than the 10-year average. 

“Swim between the flags, make sure you supervise your children, wear a life jacket where it’s necessary, and if you do that, we’ll have a great summer and keep everyone safe,” Mr Pearce said. 

NSW Ambulance Deputy Commissioner David Dutton said last financial year NSW Ambulance responded to almost 900 water-related callouts across the state. 

“We will be there for you, but the reality is we don’t want to be putting you in the back of the ambulance or helicopter,” Deputy Commissioner Dutton said. 

For more information on boating safety, please go to: lifejacketwearit.com.au

$540,000 Investment In Volunteer Safety

Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke today presented volunteers from Marine Rescue NSW with the first of 2,040 state-of-the-art lifejackets to be issued to each Marine Rescue NSW crew member.

Ms Cooke said the new resources have been funded by a $540,000 investment from the NSW Government to keep the Service’s volunteers safer on the water.

“The last two boating seasons have been the busiest on record for Marine Rescue NSW, with volunteers responding to nearly 4,000 calls for emergency help last year alone,” Ms Cooke said.“This investment in essential safety equipment will help our volunteers do their job more safely in all weather conditions.”

Deputy Commissioner Alex Barrell said the new Baltic Legend 190 lifejackets are a significant improvement over the current model.

“These new lifejackets have a greatly improved buoyancy of 190 Newtons over the existing lifejackets, and also offer our crew members a more comfortable fit, ID pocket and high visibility in the water,” Deputy Commissioner Barrell said.

“With these new lifejackets we’re ready for what promises to be another extremely busy time on our waterways.

“Our members have trained hard over the winter break for the anticipated surge in people requiring assistance, the boating public can do their part by ensuring their vessel is in good condition, they have the right safety equipment and have planned their day on the water before heading out.

“Most important of all, make sure everyone on board is wearing a lifejacket and Log On every time with Marine Rescue NSW on VHF Channel 16 or the Marine Rescue app.”

The Hon. Steph Cooke, Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery, and Marine Rescue NSW Deputy Commissioner Alex Barrell with MRNSW Members. Photo: MRNSW