Senior crew from Marine Rescue Batemans Bay and Tuggerah Lakes have spent the past two days on waterways around Cronulla undergoing induction and training on each unit’s new 6.3 metre walk-through console Naiad boats.
The Tuggerah Lakes 21 and Batemans Bay 21 replacement rescue vessels are powered by twin Suzuki 115 horsepower outboard engines and are capable of reaching speeds of 38 knots.
Marine Rescue Tuggerah Lakes Unit Commander Bob Sutton and Batemans Bay Unit Commander Rod Ingamells along with senior crew members were thoroughly shown how to operate the vessels before delivering them to their respective bases today.
Mr Sutton said Marine Rescue volunteers at the Tuggerah Lakes unit are excited about adding the new vessel to the fleet.
“The new Naiad has performed exceptionally; it’s done a great job.
“It’s going to replace a 10-year-old vessel, a Cobia that we’ve had and this will be certainly well received by our members and also the community,” he said.
The Tuggerah Lakes Unit Commander said the new rescue boat is part of Marine Rescue’s fleet modernisation program.
“It’s replacing a 10-year-old vessel so technology is a big thing.
“Upgraded navionics, reliability, safety for our members plus being able to get to whatever jobs we need to do in a faster manner and then being able to get people back to safety,” Mr Sutton said.
Since October 2022, volunteers at Marine Rescue Tuggerah Lakes have completed 53 rescue missions.
Mr Ingamells said the new Batemans Bay 21 is a versatile vessel with wide-ranging capability.
“Predominantly we’ll be using it mainly for around the early areas of three to four nautical miles out to sea but we generally go all the way up past Nelligen.
“We can get up there because of the depth of the keel, there’s a fair few rocks up in that area but generally, quick tows, quick response.
“In our area we get people that go overboard fairly regular and we can get there fairly quickly with this vessel,” Mr Ingamells said.
Mr Sutton said the new TL 21 will be able to respond to all sorts of issues.
“The Tuggerah Lakes system is over 80 square kilometres of the three lakes and the rivers and we’ve got to be able to reach all those areas and this new vessel will be able to get into shallower water than our current vessel, which is birthed down at the entrance,” Mr Sutton said.
The Batemans Bay unit has had a busy start to the year completing 58 rescue missions including 37 emergency responses since New Year’s Day.
Tuggerah Lakes 21 and Batemans Bay 21 are both fitted with a full Raymarine suite of maritime navigation equipment.
Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Alex Barrell said volunteers at both units will begin undergoing full training and induction on the new vessels from this weekend before they go into active service.
“What’s really great when we turnover our vessels is watching the unit members get out there, get engaged with the new vessel, train and practice so that when the call comes, our crews are skilled up and can go and render that assistance,” Commissioner Barrell said.