27 March 2024

Marine Rescue urges boaters to be appy and safe on waterways during Easter

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Man wearing a lifejacket on a boat.

Marine Rescue NSW is urging all boaters to be safe and prepared before heading out this Easter. Photo: Marine Rescue NSW.

Marine Rescue NSW is gearing up for a traditionally busy Easter long weekend along Illawarra and South Coast waterways.

Staff and volunteers are pleading with boaters to make sure they are prepared before heading out on the water.

Last Easter crews completed 109 search and rescue missions over the Easter weekend, and returned 247 people to shore.

Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Alex Barrell said the service had already had a busy start to the year, with more than 1500 search and rescue missions across the state.

READ ALSO Life saving link to emergency help to be installed at 3 Illawarra beaches

He said safety and preparation were paramount to an enjoyable day on the water.

“We’re encouraging boaters this weekend to put all their eggs in one basket with the Marine Rescue NSW app,” he said.

“The app gives you live weather updates, safety checklists and importantly, you can log on with your local Marine Rescue NSW base so that your safe return is being watched by our dedicated volunteers.

“If you’re heading out on the water this weekend, make sure that you’ve got enough safety equipment, you have fuel and fuel in reserve, you’ve logged on with your local Marine Rescue NSW base and of course, wear a lifejacket.”

Across the service’s 46 NSW units, 3300 volunteers are ready to respond to those needing assistance on the water.

Marine Rescue NSW is a volunteer based not-for-profit professional organisation dedicated to keeping boaters safe on the water and supporting local communities.

READ ALSO Remote-controlled life buoy bolsters Marine Rescue’s lifesaving capabilities

Last year the organisation recorded its busiest year on record, with 481 search and rescue missions carried out across the Illawarra region alone.

The missions included 245 emergency responses with 1091 people safely returned to shore across all seven Illawarra units from Port Kembla in the north to Kioloa in the south.

Marine Rescue NSW Deputy Commissioner Darren Schott said almost one third of incidents were emergencies such as capsized boats, missing people, groundings and fires on vessels.

“Response times for these incidents is reduced dramatically if a boater is logged on with Marine Rescue NSW,” he said.

“We ask all boaters to ensure that they check their vessel’s engine and battery every time they plan to head out on the water.

“Mechanical and fuel issues can quickly become life-threatening emergencies on the water, so make sure you have enough fuel and some in reserve.”

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