The NSW Government’s water safety messaging is cutting through, with a record number of boaters logging their trips with Marine Rescue NSW before heading out on the water this summer, Emergency Services Minister Troy Grant said today.
Mr Grant said that in a push to increase water safety more than 35,000 boaters had Logged On with the State’s official volunteer rescue service during the peak boating season, from October to March.
“This is an increase of more than 1,000 on last summer and almost 6,000 more than in the 2014/2015 boating season,” Mr Grant said.
“The NSW Government is prioritising water safety. We have allocated $11 million over three years for water safety initiatives, but we cannot be present at every waterway at all times.
“Individuals need to take responsibility for their own actions. That is precisely what more boaters in NSW are doing. This positive trend means that more boaters are putting safety first year on year. “I encourage all boaters to take advantage of the free Log On service all year round, whenever they head out on the water.”
Mr Grant today joined Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos and volunteers from Sydney rescue units on Sydney Harbour as Marine Rescue Middle Harbour members took part in a joint helicopter retrieval exercise with Toll Rescue and Ambulance NSW paramedics.
Commissioner Tannos said Logging On was quick and simple, with boaters simply contacting Marine Rescue via their marine radio, phone or the MarineRescue App to advise where they were heading, how many people were on board and when they expected to return.
“They can then get on with enjoying their day. If they don’t Log Off as scheduled, we will start to look for them,” Mr Tannos said.
Marine Rescue NSW has more than 3,000 volunteer members based in 45 units along the coastline from Tweed Heads to Eden and inland on the Alpine Lakes and Murray River.
In 2015/2016, its professionally trained and equipped volunteers rescued more than 3,000 vessels, including 723 caught in life-endangering emergencies. Despite a spike in drowning fatalities over summer, no boaters figured in the toll.