Minister for Emergency Services Troy Grant recently joined Marine Rescue NSW (MRNSW) volunteers as they conducted a simulated sea rescue near the entrance to Sydney Harbour as units prepare for a busy summer on our waterways, including the Sydney to Hobart yacht race and New Year’s Eve. Mr Grant said regular training with realistic scenarios was vital to ensure crews were prepared for a real-life rescue. The exercise involved highly-trained MRNSW boat crews, marine radio operators, the 11.6 metre search and rescue vessel Middle Harbour 30 and the 6.8 metre Middle Harbour 20.

    “Our Marine Rescue volunteers are ready for summer. Crews have been flat out training in local and regional search and rescue exercises up and down the coast,” Mr Grant said. “We’re asking boaters to be responsible on the water this summer. As always, skippers should check the conditions, make sure everyone on board is wearing a lifejacket, and Log On with their local MRNSW unit by marine radio, phone or the free MarineRescue app.

    “Logging on provides crucial information like where boaters are going, when they are due back and their onboard contact details. If they don’t return on time, MRNSW can swiftly start to search for them. “If boaters get into trouble, they should contact 000 in the first instance and then use channel 16 to call for help.” MRNSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos said the organisation’s dedicated volunteers would be on duty along the coastline, the Alpine Lakes and the Murray River at Moama over summer.

    “On Sydney Harbour our members working alongside the NSW Police Force Marine Area Command and other agencies to provide safety watch, crowd control and stand-by support in case of emergencies,” Mr Tannos said. “Exclusion Zones and No Anchoring Zones will be in place on Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and Australia Day. We urge all skippers to observe these zones to help ensure everyone on the water can enjoy these events safely.” In 2017, MRNSW has assisted 2,300 vessels, on 743 occasions lives were in danger.