Radio service saves boaties' lives

BOAT skippers on the Coffs Coast have been urged to join Marine Rescue NSW’s Marine Radio Safety Service to ensure their safety on the water.

For $22 a year, with a special rate for pensioners, boat owners can join up with the service and receive a registration number, making logging in via radio a simple task.

MRSS officer Graham Campbell of the Coffs Harbour Unit said registered users of the system log in indicating their launch point, persons on board, where they are going and an estimated time of return.

“Then, if you fail to return or contact Marine Rescue to extend your time, they will start trying to contact you, by radio and mobile, eventually mounting a search effort if that proves necessary,” Mr Campbell said.

“What’s more, since the Marine Rescue base operates 24/7, there is always someone there to look out for you.

“The ocean can be a lonely and frightening place, especially when your motor has packed up and your radio is malfunctioning.

“Most boaters know that Marine Rescue Coffs Harbour will organise someone to tow you in when you’re in trouble, but what if you can’t reach them by radio or mobile?

“That’s why many boaters log on with Marine Rescue and tell the Rescue Unit where they will be fishing and when they will return.”

Marine Rescue monitors 27 MHz 88, 90, and 94, and VHF channels 16, 73, and 80. To join the MRSS, call the base on 6652 3155 and leave a message with the watchkeeper for Mr Campbell to organise registration.

You may also visit the base with all your vessel’s details, including vehicle or trailer registration if you launch from the boat ramp.

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