A new $343,000 rescue vehicle, the John Nicholas, was commissioned by NSW Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos, Deputy Commissioner Alex Barrell at Sussex Inlet yesterday.
Marine Rescue Sussex Inlet volunteers joined Dorothy Nicholas, the wife of founding member John, who lives in a nursing home, to officially commission the Sussex Inlet 20 to the MRNSW fleet.
Mrs Nicholas said as a life member of the organisation, her husband was extremely proud to have the vessel named after him.
Mr Elliott says the modern new vessel means the members of the Sussex Inlet unit are now better equipped than ever to respond to emergencies and save lives on the region’s busy waterways.
“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, improve volunteer operating facilities and enhance the marine radio network.”
Member for South Coast Shelley Hancock says the 7.5 metre Ocean Cylinder vessel, fully-equipped with search and rescue, communications and navigation technology, was an investment in the safety of both the unit’s volunteers and the region’s large local and visiting boating community.
“The Government is committed to ensuring our volunteers have the safe, fit-for-purpose equipment they need for their life-saving work,” she said.
“This is a valuable rapid response resource that the unit can deploy to incidents on the Sussex Inlet, St Georges Basin and up to 15 nautical miles offshore.”
Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos said Sussex Inlet 20 was one of 103 vessels, worth more than $25 million, delivered under the organisation’s Fleet Modernisation Program.
Mr Tannos thanked the boating community for its ongoing support for Marine Rescue NSW and the State Government for its $37.6 million, four-year financial injection to fund upgraded volunteer resources and operational facilities.
“This support means we are able to ensure our volunteers have safe, modern and reliable rescue vessels like this one for their work to assist and protect NSW boaters,” he said.
Marine Rescue Sussex Inlet Unit Commander Karen Lowry said the vessel was launched in November last year, with the commissioning postponed due to covid-19, and had already been put to good use during the summer bushfires and floods.
She said the Sussex Inlet crew is prepared for a busy summer ahead.
“The boat is manoeuvrable and durable, which makes it a great resource for operations on the Inlet’s bar and the Basin, both of which can be hazardous for inexperienced boaters or when the wind blows up,” she said.
“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.”
Sussex Inlet 20, powered by twin 250hp Suzuki outboards, was built by Yamba Welding & Engineering on the Northern Rivers.
Service medals were presented to volunteers Les Pataky and Aaron Hayward during the afternoon's celebrations.
Photos Katrina Condie
Three new SES vehicles were also presented in the Shoalhaven. Story HERE