Marine Rescue NSW (MRNSW) has recorded its busiest summer weekend, with rescues recorded all along the coastline.
Volunteers from across the state dealt with more than a hundred rescue missions between Friday 8 and Sunday 10 January, as thousands of boaters took advantage of the ideal conditions and warmer temperatures.
Commissioner Stacey Tannos said MRNSW volunteers had carried out 110 rescue missions over the weekend, including 17 in response to life-endangering emergencies.
“Our volunteers returned 299 people, including 41 children, along with five pets safely to shore,” he said.
“Boaters flocked to the water to take advantage of the ideal conditions and fine, warm weather.
“It was great to see so many people out – particularly following the lifting of COVID restrictions on Sydney’s Northern Beaches – but the extra traffic meant our volunteers were working from early in the morning to beyond sunset to help bring people home safely.”
Commissioner Tannos said many of the rescues could have been avoided if boaters had taken basic safety precautions before heading out on the water.
“Two thirds of this weekend’s rescues were to save boaters stranded by engine failure, flat batteries and fuel problems – including one boater who ran out of fuel 30 nautical miles east of Barrenjoey,” he said.
“Many of these problems can be prevented if you make sure your boat’s in good repair and that you have a full tank of fuel.
“Remember the rule of thirds when planning your trip – a third for the trip out, another for the return, and a third in reserve.
“Most important of all, make sure everyone on board is wearing a lifejacket and log on with Marine Rescue NSW on VHF Channel 16 or the free Marine Rescue NSW App.
“This free service gives you the peace of mind from knowing our volunteers are watching out for your safe return and if you don’t log off as planned, we will start searching for you.”
For the Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie volunteers, regular training has been invaluable in saving lives in the Hunter region.
The group were forced to cancel a scheduled training exercise on Boxing Day after a call for assistance at the Swansea Bar.
Another exercise will hopefully take place this weekend, with volunteers assisting with a simulated overturned vessel on the bar from approximately 9am.