Despite the wettest start to a year on record, Marine Rescue NSW has had its second busiest 12 month period ever with 3,905 rescues safely delivering 8,599 to shore.
Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke congratulated Marine Rescue NSW volunteers for their outstanding efforts.
“One third of the rescues conducted in the last financial year were for life-threatening emergencies, sometimes in the worst of weather and sea conditions and at the dead of night,” Ms Cooke said.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank our volunteers whose skill, bravery and dedication saves lives on the water and helps keep our State’s waterways safe.”
Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos said that the number of rescues had come in slightly below the previous year, thanks to the poor weather over the popular summer boating period.
“Over the year our volunteers received an extraordinary 223,338 radio calls, nearly one every two minutes. These included 73 Mayday calls when lives were in imminent danger, and 47 Pan Pans, when boaters were in an urgent but not life-threatening situation, as well as 14 flare sightings,” Commissioner Tannos said.
“57 per cent of calls were for flat batteries, running out of fuel or engine problems, providing boaters with an important reminder to keep their vessel properly serviced and to always carry enough fuel for the journey. In total, 65,433 boaters Logged On to their local Marine Rescue base, helping to keep them, and their passengers, safer.”
Marine Rescue NSW volunteers also attended 247 groundings, 146 capsizes and 23 medical emergencies, with most rescues while boats were fishing (37 per cent), cruising (32 per cent) or sailing (eight per cent).
Weekends accounted for 50 per cent of all rescues, with Sundays the busiest day with 27 per cent of rescues, and Thursdays the quietest on the water. Boaters were most likely to be rescued between 12pm and 3pm, with 40 per cent of all rescues at this time as boaters begin to head home and strike mechanical issues or deteriorating weather conditions.
As the warmer months approach, Marine Rescue NSW is urging boaters to follow the safety advice and wear a lifejacket, check the weather conditions before heading out and to Log On with their local Marine Rescue base so they can be quickly located in an emergency.