Illawarra marine rescue crews sharpen sea search skills ahead of boating season

Marine Rescue NSW vessels involved in a search and rescue exercise south of Sydney. Picture: Supplied
Marine Rescue NSW vessels involved in a search and rescue exercise south of Sydney. Picture: Supplied

Marine Rescue NSW volunteers from Port Kembla and Shellharbour units hit the water on Saturday and took part in a special Search and Rescue Exercise (SAREX).

Marine rescue experts from Botany Port Hacking also took to the water south of Sydney as part of the major capability exercise designed to test agencies’ marine search and rescue practices and coordination.

The major joint-agency search and rescue scenario also involved personnel and rescue assets from the NSW Police Force Marine Area Command.

Marine Rescue NSW Deputy Commissioner Dean Storey said the exercise would ensure crews remained at peak readiness before the summer boating season.

Marine Rescue NSW vessels involved in a search and rescue exercise south of Sydney. Picture: Supplied

Marine Rescue NSW vessels involved in a search and rescue exercise south of Sydney. Picture: Supplied

‘’Although the overall level of boating activity quietens in the winter months, major emergencies do occur and the risk is often amplified by the winter storms and impacts of cooler weather,’’ he said.

‘’It is important for our personnel to train with our rescue colleagues in order to fine-tune our response and maximise the safety for our courageous volunteers.’’

The search and rescue exercise on Saturday morning saw an array of rescue vessels move into defined search areas to locate two boaters who had not returned from an offshore fishing trip.

Mr Storey said MRNSW volunteers were committed to building their skills and knowledge.

‘’They provide the boating community with a world-class safety net on the water,’’ he said.

This story Illawarra marine rescue crews sharpen sea search skills first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.