Marine Rescue NSW has commissioned the newest vessel to join its rescue fleet, Cottage Point 30, an impressive $470,000 investment in boating safety on Sydney’s northern waterways.
Ku-ring-Gai Mayor Cr Cheryl Szatow, MRNSW Directors and Commissioner Stacey Tannos joined volunteers from the Marine Rescue Cottage Point unit to officially welcome the new Cottage Point 30, an 11.5m Sailfish catamaran.
The boat is named Chris Gillett, in recognition of the contribution to boating safety and volunteer marine rescue of the current MRNSW Greater Sydney Regional Controller and former Australian Volunteer Coast Guard Association National Commodore.
Commissioner Tannos said the new vessel was a significant boost to the capability of marine search and rescue volunteers on some of Sydney’s most popular waters for boating.
“This state-of-the-art vessel, which is able to travel up to 30 nautical miles offshore, further strengthens Marine Rescue’s strategic search and rescue safety net covering the NSW coastline,” he said.
“It is the latest of 64 new and refurbished vessels delivered to date, at a cost of more than $14 million, under our landmark fleet modernisation program.
“Providing safe, up-to-date and reliable vessels is the greatest investment we can make in the safety of our volunteers and the boaters we rescue. Built by Sailfish Catamarans at Alstonville, this boat also is a valuable investment in local business and jobs in regional NSW,” Mr Tannos said.
Cottage Point Unit Commander Paul Millar said Cottage Point 30 was built and equipped to meet the unit’s operational demands in a variety of conditions.
“Cottage Point 30 is a tremendous boost to our capability. It’s a powerful, stable and safe vessel for our volunteers, so our crews can respond more efficiently than ever to help boaters in trouble,” he said.
“We need to be able navigate in a range of waterways from offshore and the open, often hazardous, waters of Broken Bay to the tight bays of Cowan Creek and the mouth of the Hawkesbury River,” he said.
“This new boat handles superbly whether we are on open waters or more confined in-shore inlets.
“Its aluminium hull construction also means it is rugged enough to be able to beach in otherwise inaccessible areas of the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park to provide first aid and transport for patients, which we are required to do numerous times a year.”
The vessel is powered by twin 300hp Suzuki outboards. Search and rescue equipment installed on MRNSW vessels includes Raymarine navigation and radar, Sailor VHF, GME 27 Mhz and DCN marine radios, Furuno AIS (Automatic Identification System) and FLIR thermal imaging camera, along with advanced first aid equipment including cardiac defibrillator and oxygen.
Commissioner Tannos acknowledged the vital support of the State Government and the boatingcommunity for Marine Rescue’s essential services.
“The financial support we receive from the Government and through boaters’ registration and licence fees provides about 50 per cent of the annual budget we need to provide NSW with a world-class marine search and rescue, radio network and education service for safer boating.
“Even with this funding support, as a community-based organisation, we still need to rely on our volunteers’ energetic fundraising.
“I thank the community for its generous support of the Cottage Point unit and its members’ determined efforts to raise funds towards the cost of this new vessel,” he said.
Boaters heading out on the water should remember to Log On with MRNSW using their marine radio or telephone or via the MarineRescue mobile app, suitable for Apple and Android devices and available on the App Store and Google play. More at the NSW Marine Rescue website.