The newest addition to the Marine Rescue NSW fleet, a $680,000 offshore rescue vessel, is due to arrive at its home port, Iluka/Yamba tomorrow afternoon (Friday).
MRNSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos said the new vessel, IY30, a Steber 38, would be a valuable addition to marine search and rescue capability on the North Coast, boosting safety for the local boating community.
'This is the third vessel of its kind, purpose-built to meet our search and rescue specifications by internationally successful NSW boat builder, Steber International, of Taree,' Commissioner Tannos said.
'IY 30 is part of our strategically located safety net of offshore vessels covering the NSW coastline.
'It will provide our Marine Rescue volunteers at Iluka/Yamba with a fast response rescue vessel that can be deployed up to 30 nautical miles offshore and help them provide an increased level of safety on the water in this busy fishing and cruising region.'
Commissioner Tannos said more than 5,000 working hours had gone into the construction of IY 30, involving shipwrights, electricians, upholsterers, marine engineers, cabinet makers, fibreglass laminators and apprentices.
'We are proud that we have been able to make an important contribution to the local economy and development of local skills in the Mid North Coast area of NSW,' he said.
IY 30 is equipped with state-of-the-art Raymarine navigation, Icom marine radio electronics, Furuno AIS (Automatic Identification System), FLIR night vision and advanced first aid equipment, including Australian Defibrillators cardiac defibrillator and oxygen therapy.
Crew from Marine Rescue Iluka/Yamba have been training on IY 30 since it was launched at Taree.
Unit Commander, Barry Storey, said: 'This is a magnificent rescue vessel and is perfectly suited for our position on the NSW North Coast.
'Our nearest Marine Rescue colleagues are at Wooli, 27 nautical miles (50km) to the south, and Evans Head, 16 nm (30km) north. Our speed and range adds significantly to the rescue capability that Marine Rescue NSW can now provide in this area.'
Commissioner Tannos acknowledged the vital support of the NSW Government and the boating community for Marine Rescue’s vital services.
'The generous financial support MRNSW receives from the State Government and members of the boating community as a contribution from their boat licences and registrations has enabled us to embark on an ambitious program to modernise our rescue fleet, including commissioning IY 30,' he said.
'Our number one priority is safety on the water for both our volunteers and the boating community. We are working to provide our volunteers with up-to-date, safe and reliable equipment so they can continue providing the NSW recreational boating community with their valuable services.
'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.
'IY 30 at Iluka/Yamba is a tangible demonstration of Marine Rescue NSW’s commitment to saving lives on the water.'
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