Marine Rescue NSW, our volunteers on the water, have had their second busiest year ever.

Despite the wettest start to a year on record, Marine Rescue NSW has had its second busiest 12-month period ever, with 3,905 rescues across NSW, delivering 8,599 people safely back to shore.

On the Northern Beaches, Marine Rescue conducted 386 assistance operations, with 86 from Cottage Point, 114 from Broken Bay (based at Bayview) and 174 from Middle Harbour (based at The Spit).

Steph Cooke

Steph Cooke

NSW Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery, Steph Cooke, congratulated Marine Rescue NSW volunteers for their outstanding efforts.

“One-third of the rescues conducted in the last financial year were for life-threatening emergencies, sometimes in the worst of weather and sea conditions and at the dead of night.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank our volunteers whose skill, bravery and dedication saves lives on the water and helps keep our State’s waterways safe,” said Minister Cooke.

Marine Rescue NSW

Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos ESM said that the number of rescues had come in slightly below the previous year, thanks to the poor weather over the popular summer boating period.

Stacey Tannos

Stacey Tannos

“Over the year our volunteers received an extraordinary 223,338 radio calls, nearly one every two minutes. These included 73 Mayday calls when lives were in imminent danger, and 47 Pan Pans, when boaters were in an urgent but not life-threatening situation, as well as 14 flare sightings.

“57 percent of calls were for flat batteries, running out of fuel or engine problems, providing boaters with an important reminder to keep their vessel properly serviced and to always carry enough fuel for the journey. In total, 65,433 boaters logged on to their local Marine Rescue base, helping to keep them, and their passengers, safer,” said Commissioner Tannos.

Marine Rescue NSW volunteers also attended 247 groundings, 146 capsizes and 23 medical emergencies, with most rescues while boats were fishing (37 percent), cruising (32 percent) or sailing (eight percent).

Weekends accounted for 50 percent of all rescues, with Sundays the busiest day with 27 percent of rescues, and Thursdays the quietest on the water. Boaters were most likely to be rescued between 12.00pm – 3.00pm, with 40 percent of all rescues at this time as boaters begin to head home and strike mechanical issues or deteriorating weather conditions.

As the warmer months approach, Marine Rescue NSW is urging boaters to follow the safety advice and wear a life jacket, check the weather conditions before heading out and to log on with their local Marine Rescue base, so they can be quickly located in an emergency.

Marine Rescue NSW is a volunteer emergency services organisation dedicated to saving lives on the water. It is one of four volunteer based emergency services organisations on the Northern Beaches along with NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS), NSW State Emergency Service (NSW SES) and Surf Life Saving NSW (SLSNSW). Become a volunteer at the Marine Rescue NSW website.

Images: Marine Rescue NSW

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