Skippers urged to contact base

Marine Rescue volunteers and NSW Water Police help a visiting boatie who got into strife off Coffs Harbour this week.
Marine Rescue volunteers and NSW Water Police help a visiting boatie who got into strife off Coffs Harbour this week.

BOAT skippers can rest assured the Marine Rescue Unit is just a radio call away this summer.

The unit has kept true to its charter of protecting boaties at sea, completing a host of recent ocean rescues and deep sea tow-ins.

Coffs Harbour Marine Rescue Unit Commander Graeme King urged boat owners to make sure their vessels were seaworthy, and their engines well primed and serviced before setting offshore.

“Prepare your boat properly before you go to sea and you minimise the chance of a failure that may put at risk the safety of you and your crew,” Mr King said.

“If you do break down don’t hesitate to call for assistance quickly.

“If you have logged on with Marine Rescue you will at least know your radio is working to help you get assistance.”

Already this year, Marine Rescue Coffs Harbour has performed 44 tow-ins, and 10 ‘assists’, helping to replenish fuel, jump-start batteries, and escort boats back to safety after running repairs.

The rescue unit continues to work in close co-operation with the NSW Water Police, as was the case when one boat skipper came to grief on the water this week.

The unit averages six tows per month, but already this December it’s towed nine vessels.

Last weekend, the unit helped a five-metre boat that had a split in its hull and was taking on water.

Crews raced out to South Solitary Island in the rescue vessel CR 20 to assist.

The stricken boat made it ashore under its own power, but the crew bailed water continually.

The unit also responded to a vessel off Sawtell that lost power, due to an electrical fault.

It was towed to the harbour.

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