by Ken McManus
Codi-K II, a $260,000 8.5 metre Gemini Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat, is the latest addition to the Marine Rescue NSW fleet. The formal commissioning ceremony for the Codi-K II will take place at Port Stephens today, Monday 7th May.
Codi-K II on duty off Port Stephens
Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos said the Codi-K II would be a valuable addition to marine search and rescue capability in the Hunter region, boosting safety for the local boating community.
'The Codi-K II forms an important part of Marine Rescue’s strategically located safety net of offshore rescue vessels covering the NSW coastline,' Commissioner Tannos said.
'It is the second Gemini RHIB to join the MRNSW fleet. These are a new generation of rapid-response rescue vessels, able to operate up to 15 nautical miles offshore,' he said.
Replacing the original Codi-K, the new vessel joins the Port Stephens unit’s 52 foot Arun, the Danial Thain.
Commissioner Tannos paid tribute to the unit’s volunteers for their fundraising efforts, which had enabled them to fund the cost of the new vessel.
'The members of Port Stephens are tremendously committed to saving lives on the water and energetic in their work to raise funds for their unit and their operations, including this new vessel,' he said.
'I want to thank the Hunter community, local and visiting boaters and the unit’s sponsors for their ongoing support for the vital work of the Port Stephens volunteers and their colleagues in our other units in the Hunter-Central Coast region.
'Our rescue coverage on this area of the coastline is exceptional, with Marine Rescue units operating from nine separate locations between Port Stephens and Terrigal. This is one of the State’s most popular districts for boating, both offshore and on the network of lakes.'
Port Stephens Unit Commander Malcolm Milliken said the Codi-K II provided the unit’s volunteers with a light-weight, speedy and highly-manoeuvrable vessel.
'Like her predecessor, she will complement the Danial Thain and be of great value both offshore and on our local rivers and tributaries,' UC Milliken said.
'In 2011, our members assisted 370 people aboard 139 vessels, worth $12 million. So far this year, we have gone to the aid of another 182 people on 68 vessels valued at $10 million.
'The Codi-K II is well equipped to ensure that our volunteers can work quickly, efficiently and safely to help boaters in trouble on the water.
'This is a busy fishing and cruising region, with boaters putting to sea at Port Stephens to fish popular areas including Broughton Island and as far out as the Continental Shelf, 25-plus nautical miles offshore.'
State of the art electronics installed on MRNSW vessels include Raymarine navigation, Icom marine radios, Furuno AIS (Automatic Identification System) and FLIR night vision, along with advanced first aid equipment, an Australian Defibrillators cardiac defibrillator and oxygen therapy.
Commissioner Tannos acknowledged the vital support of the NSW Government and the boating community for Marine Rescue’s essential services.
'Our number one priority is safety on the water for both our volunteers and the boating community.
'The ongoing annual Government grant of $1.4 million, plus around $5 million from the boating community, means that MRNSW can depend on about 50 per cent of the 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 to contribute towards the $14 million we need to provide our valuable services.
Commissioner Tannos reminded boaters to always log on and log off with their local Marine Rescue radio base whenever they are on the water.
Marine Rescue NSW website