New $300,000 Marine Rescue vessel unveiled
27th April 2019
Boaters will be safer on Lake Macquarie and offshore with the addition of a new $300,000 fast response search and rescue vessel to the Marine Rescue NSW fleet, Member for Lake Macquarie Greg Piper said today.
Mr Piper joined MRNSW Deputy Commissioner Dean Storey and volunteers from Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie to commission Lake Macquarie 20 at the unit’s boat base on the Pelican waterfront.
Mr Piper said the vessel was a significant addition to the region’s rescue resources and capability, which would boost the safety of boaters on the popular local waterways.
““There is absolutely no doubt that Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie has saved countless lives,” Mr Piper said.
“It’s therefore essential that the unit is provided the best resources possible to carry out that important work. I know first-hand how hard these fantastic volunteers work, so I’m very pleased that the State Government has further recognised those efforts by providing the funds for this new rescue vessel.”
The new asset will give MR Lake Macquarie extra operational versatility and comes on top of the State Government’s recent $37.6 million investment in the organisation – the biggest in its history.
Lake Macquarie 20 is a 7.8-metre Sailfish catamaran based on the Lake Macquarie shore at Penguin. It can respond to emergencies on the lake and up to 15 nautical miles offshore, with a maximum crew of six.
Deputy Commissioner Storey said the new boat was among almost 90 new and refurbished rescue vessels delivered at a cost of almost $21 million under Marine Rescue NSW’s ongoing Fleet Modernisation Program.
“Lake Macquarie is one of the State’s largest and busiest waterways,” he said.
“The unit’s rescue crews responded to 120 emergencies over the peak summer boating season, helping to return hundreds of boaters safely to shore.”
Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie Unit Commander Malcolm Wardrop welcomed the new vessel.
“Lake Macquarie is a boating magnet for locals and visitors, so it’s fantastic to have a new boat equipped with search and rescue, navigation and advanced first aid equipment,” Mr Wardrop said.
“It’s fitting that LM 20 is named after our late Unit Commander Neil Grieves, who passed away last year after 36 years’ service.
“Neil loved boating, game fishing and helping keep boaters safe through his efforts as both a volunteer and operational staff member of MRNSW. He is sorely missed but LM 20 will keep his memory alive on our waters.”