Marine search and rescue capability on the Central Coast is set to be enhanced with the handover of a new $385,000 vessel Tuggerah Lakes 20 to Marine Rescue Tuggerah Lakes volunteers today.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott, Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast and Member for Terrigal Adam Crouch and Member of the Legislative Council Taylor Martin joined Marine Rescue NSW Director Jim Wright and local volunteers to welcome the unit’s new vessel, delivered as part of a record $37.6 million NSW Government investment.
The 6.8-metre Naiad vessel is fully equipped with a suite of the latest search and rescue, navigation, communications and advanced first aid technology.
Mr Elliott said the new vessel would mean volunteers are now more equipped than ever before to tackle emergencies on the Tuggerah Lakes system.
“The Tuggerah Lakes system is bigger than Sydney Harbour and is a magnet for boaters, fishers and paddlers. The NSW Government is a proud supporter of Marine Rescue volunteers, which is why we have invested an additional $37.6 million to deliver 38 new rescue vessels, improved volunteer operating facilities and enhancements to the marine radio network,” Mr Elliott said.
Mr Crouch said Tuggerah Lakes volunteers have launched 39 rescue missions over the past year, including four in response to life-threatening emergencies, and logged on 350 boats, keeping watch over 1,500 people on board.
“The boat has been specifically designed and built for rescue operations in the lakes’ deceptive shallow waters. The NSW Government is committed to ensuring our Marine Rescue volunteers have safe and fit-for-purpose equipment to perform their life-saving work,” Mr Crouch said.
Marine Rescue Tuggerah Lakes Unit Commander Tony Younglove said the new boat had performed above expectations on the shallow and sandy lakes.
“As well as the suite of search and rescue technology our crews need, it also carries advanced first aid equipment, including a cardiac defibrillator and oxygen kit so we are ready to provide immediate assistance in a medical emergency,” Mr Younglove said.
Mr Elliott, Mr Crouch and Mr Martin then visited The Bays Rural Fire Brigade to handover a new $121,000 Cat 9 Tanker and inspect new IT equipment purchased through donations fundraised at the Coasties’ Bushfire Appeal earlier this year.
Mr Elliott said the versatile new firefighting appliance would increase the capacity of local volunteer firefighters to protect the surrounding community and the State at large from the threat of bushfire.
“After the sheer devastation of the Black Summer bushfire season, the NSW Government is ensuring the RFS has never been more prepared for the upcoming fire season,” Mr Elliott said.
“The NSW Government has already bolstered support for the RFS with more than $45 million to fast-track hazard reduction and expedite upgrades to the RFS fleet, such as this Cat 9 Tanker.”
Mr Martin said it was vital that local Rural Fire Brigades were prepared for the upcoming fire season.
“Over the summer we not only saw local crews fend off the monstrous Gosper’s Mountain fire, but also travel across the State to protect other bushfire-affected communities,” Mr Martin said.
The NSW Government’s $45 million investment in gearing up for the 2020-21 bushfire season includes $10.7 million for additional State Mitigation Crews to support the State’s hazard reduction program, along with $34.4 million to upgrade the firefighting fleet. More than 120 new and 70 refurbished trucks will be in the hands of volunteers by the end of the next financial year.