1 August 2023

New equipment to help boaters in need in Eurobodalla Shire

| Claire Sams
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Three men standing beside a river, with the two on the left holding a framed piece of paper

Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Alex Barrell, Mr Ingamells and NSW Emergency Services Minister Jihad Dib at the commissioning of Batemans Bay 21. Photo: Marine Rescue NSW.

A Marine Rescue unit on the South Coast has received a boost, with a new boat set to make it easier for the volunteers to help boaters in need.

Batemans Bay Unit Commander Rod Ingamells was among those present on Tuesday last week, alongside Member for Bega Doctor Michael Holland, NSW Minister for Emergency Services Jihad Dib and Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Alex Barrell, for the official commissioning of the new boat, Batemans Bay 21.

“Batemans Bay 21 has taken the place of its predecessor, which had been around for 10 years,” Mr Ingamells said.

“The old one had been a great training boat, but this particular vessel has got a lot more technology on it.

“The new boat has got more seating than the old, it’s got more speed and manoeuvrability,” he said.

The announcement comes after Marine Rescue NSW saw more than 130 rescues carried out between Batemans Bay and Eden over the recent summer.

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“All ’round, it’s a good training vessel and also rescue vessel, as we can use it to get to places that were very difficult to access with our larger boats.

“With this vessel, with the sonar and all the other equipment it has and its capability, we can go up right past Nelligen and all the way to Shallow Crossing,” Mr Ingamells said.

“We’ve upped our ante as far as being able to go in and do extra work, which is a good thing,” he said.

The cost of the $375,000 vessel was split between New South Wales Government funding and funds raised by Marine Rescue Batemans Bay.

“Not only did we have to do fundraising to maintain the base, we also had to raise 20 per cent of the cost for the new boat.

“This is why we do the barbecues, why we attend markets and run other fundraisers,” Mr Ingamells said.

The day also saw presentations of National Emergency Medals by Mr Dib for operational work during the Black Summer Bushfires.

The recipients of the National Emergency Medals. Photo: Marine Rescue NSW.

“The previous unit commander and deputy unit commander went back and looked over what they did and how they helped the community.

“We have a lot of members who did various tasks, but these particular ones stayed and did more than everybody else,” Mr Ingamells said.

“They were going up the river to where helicopters couldn’t get in and do checks on houses to see if there were any occupants in there, or they were taking water out to places that had been bombarded, basically, by the fires, to help people.”

Mr Ingamells and several fellow members of Marine Rescue Batemans Bay – Amanda Thompson, Peter Poole, John Dolgan, David Murn, Peter Bladwell and Michael Syrek – and Marine Rescue Narooma’s Ian Noormets were presented with medals.

“A medal like this is quite a big deal for a lot of people, because it shows that other people do take notice,” Mr Ingamells said.

“While the people who received this medal didn’t ask for it, it’s a bit of a surprise and they do appreciate that.”

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Mr Ingamells said he and his unit were also looking at adding to the team.

“We’re getting new people in, all the time, and we’re training them and building out.

“We’ve got people who are retiring or not being able to commit too much time because of their age, but we’re looking to get young people involved,” he said.

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