2 May 2023

South Coast Marine Rescue units log state's busiest summer

| Katrina Condie
Start the conversation

Volunteers have experienced their busiest summer ever. Photo: Marine Rescue NSW.

Marine Rescue NSW has recorded a record number of incidents over summer, with more than 130 rescues carried out between Batemans Bay and Eden.

The busiest units were Batemans Bay, which recorded 75 rescues, and Bermagui, which carried out 24 rescues, while Eden logged 32 rescues over the 2022/23 boating season.

Marine Rescue volunteers across the state, from the Tweed to Eden and on the inland waterways of the Alpine Lakes and at Moama, were involved in a record 3263 rescue missions from 1 October 2022 to Anzac Day this year.

This season’s figure was an increase of 1.3 per cent on the previous record set during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020/21 while emergency missions increased by seven per cent to 897.

Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Alex Barrell said volunteer crews returned 7472 boaters to shore during the season.

“It’s been a really busy summer for our members and we have seen a consistent theme across a lot of our rescues,” he said.

READ ALSO Marine Rescue to receive new vessel for alpine lakes

“We continue to see a lot of boaters running out of petrol, experiencing mechanical and engine failure and our message to boaters is to continue to check your equipment, make sure your boat is in good working order before you head out and importantly always check the weather conditions.”

Of the rescue missions, 57 per cent were for engine problems, flat batteries or fuel issues.

Marine Rescue NSW also saw a large increase in the number of boaters logging on with the service, with 48,379 log ons recorded over the boating season.

“On the back of our Marine Rescue crews being really busy this summer, it’s been great to see more boaters log on,” Commissioner Barrell said.

“We’ve seen an increase of around 20 per cent of boaters logging on over VHF marine radio or through the free Marine Rescue app.

“It’s really important that any boater that goes out and about particularly in the offshore environment takes the opportunity to log on with Marine Rescue.

“The fact that you log on and that Marine Rescue is tracking your voyage means that if you don’t return as planned rescue services will start looking for you.”

Marine Rescue NSW radio operators managed 156,244 radio calls over the season with a large portion answered by the Marine Rescue Sydney State Communications Centre.

Of the calls, 53 were Maydays where lives were in imminent danger, while 44 Pan Pans were received from boaters in an urgent but non-life threatening situation.

READ ALSO Sharing a nurturing nature, Tuross Community Garden volunteers mark fruitful decade

Commissioner Barrell praised the work of volunteers across Marine Rescue’s 46 units who played an important role of keeping boaters in NSW safe.

“I want to commend all Marine Rescue NSW volunteers for their thousands of hours of dedicated service to keeping our coastline and waterways as safe as possible this summer,” he said.

Of all activities being undertaken during the season’s 3263 rescue missions, 46 per cent involved boaters either fishing or cruising.

“We’re so lucky have great waterways in NSW, we love seeing boaters out there and enjoying them,” he said.

“We just ask that they continue to do it safely, focus on safety, focus on the weather conditions and enjoy our great waterways.”

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Do you like to know what’s happening around your region? Every day the About Regional team packages up our most popular stories and sends them straight to your inbox for free. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.