MARINE RESCUE UPDATE
Roz Cummings from Down South Camping and Outdoors messaged me recently to arrange a marine rescue member to attend a trade afternoon being organising with Recfishwest later this year. This event will be ‘hooked’ up with the ‘gone fishing day’ promotion and not to be missed if you are one of the many keen fishos in the southwest. The date is yet to be finalised, but event details will be posted on the Down South Facebook page, as well as in this article. During the day there will be a raffle with proceeds going to marine rescue. Unfortunately, I will be unable to attend, due to RST courses every weekend at this time of year, but there will be a member supporting the event and also available to answer any questions the public may have regarding marine rescue in the southwest.
Last weekend the Augusta Marine Rescue Group once again coordinated the onwater marine safety, with assistance from the Margaret River Marine Rescue group, in what is now known as the Augusta Adventure Fest. Keeping the community safe on the water during events like these is a huge task and volunteers from both groups have worked together for many years in one of the biggest adventure races in Australia. Well done to all involved.
Just to give the public an insight into the level of commitment in these two rescue groups, early last Sunday morning, as the they were mobilising their vessels and jet skis prior to the Augusta Adventure Race, a call came through from local police that a person was washed off the rocks at Contos, unable to return to shore, fortunately with a floating device. These are the worst calls possible, as time is obviously of the essence. The two rescue groups mobilised a jet ski to launch from Hamelin Bay, a 7.5 metre Naiad to launch from Gracetown and a 10 metre Naiad to come around Cape Leeuwin. Other agencies were contacted to flood the area with as many resources as possible, as more news came in that the person was now 200 metres out to sea. While details are still sketchy at the time of writing this article, quick thinking by local police in calling for the RAC helicopter, based in Bunbury, resulted in the person being winched to safety, after being in the water for some time. There is no doubt that the persons’ floating device, coupled with an effective emergency response, averted another coastal tragedy.
New members are always encouraged to join these rescue organisations. Volunteering your time is sometimes difficult, but besides contributing back to your community, there can be great benefits for marine rescue volunteers. Utilising state of the art electronics such as radar, side sonar and forward looking infra red cameras is not something readily available on a recreational boat, not to mention the opportunity to be trained up to drive large recue vessels or PWCs ( jet skis ), if that is your preference. Also, meeting and networking with like minded boaties from a range of trades and professions, creates opportunities for everyone. Many fishing trips, home renovations and even more major projects were initiated over a few beers or a wine after a marine rescue meeting or training exercise. Margaret River VMR Group have their AGM tonight, 730pm at the Gracetown venue alongside the town hall. Why not come along and check it out?