Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie opened its new headquarters at Swansea this morning, Friday 13 November.
The volunteer organisation that deals with an average of two to three assists each day, will now have a state-of-the-art facility befitting its reputation as the busiest marine rescue unit in NSW.
Lake Macquarie unit commander Malcolm Druce said the new headquarters allowed its 150 volunteers to feel ready to deal with any emergency that may arise.
“It’s the culmination of ten years of planning, research and discussion and we’re very excited about its opening,” he said.
“We deal with one serious incident every week and by that I mean an incident where a life is threatened.
“With our new base we will be ready for anything.”
Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie services boaters on the waters from Redhead Beach to Wybung Head, and up to 30 nautical miles offshore.
“There are 26,000 boat owners immediately surrounding Lake Macquarie,” Mr Druce said.
“That number is aside from those who travel to this region and embark on our waters.
“This is a big catchment area.”
The new $1.7 million communications centre, will provide the service with a world-class emergency operations base for its work saving lives on the water.
The opening attracted dignitaries including New South Wales Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliot, Marine Area Command Alex Burrell, Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser as well as an array of local politicians.
“One of the things that we needed to take our place as a trusted establishment was having enough capacity to deal with emergency situations,” Mr Druce said.
“We needed a facility like this on our busy coastline and we now have that.”
Marine Rescue NSW also launched its new online monthly video magazine this week.
MRTV will showcase the group’s volunteers, vessels and equipment.
Episodes can be viewed on the Marine Rescue NSW YouTube channel, via the group’s website or Facebook page, during the first week of each month.