Wa­ter Po­lice rel­ish their widen­ing role

Cockburn Gazette - - AROUND THE SUBURBS -

WITH roots in a ba­sic de­mount­able shed on Mews Road, WA Wa­ter Po­lice have cel­e­brated 30 years at its mod­ern, high-tech North Fre­man­tle in­ci­dent and co-or­di­na­tion centre.

Con­sid­ered one of the big­gest wa­ter-polic­ing ju­ris­dic­tions in the world, the 24hour-a-day op­er­a­tion centre po­lices 13,000km of WA coast­line and of­fi­cers per­form any­thing from search and res­cue to div­ing op­er­a­tions, in­ves­ti­gat­ing flare sight­ings and stolen ves­sels, as well as wider mar­itime in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

Wa­ter Po­lice of­fi­cer in charge Noel Min­nock said the Har­vest Road fa­cil­ity was vi­tally im­por­tant to their work.

“It’s ex­tremely im­por­tant be­cause we’re per­fectly lo­cated on the river be­tween the city and the ocean, which gives us ac­cess to both; that’s one of the main things,” he said.

“We’ve made some ad­vance­ments with com­mu­ni­ca­tions and tech­nol­ogy to im­prove our search and res­cue ca­pa­bil­i­ties in par­tic­u­lar.

“We’ve also had some re­cent ad­di­tions to the fleet and that’s brought us ad­vance­ments in re­la­tion to our ca­pa­bil­i­ties.”

Po­lice Min­is­ter Michelle Roberts, who toured the fa­cil­ity as part of an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions, said the work of the Wa­ter Po­lice was im­por­tant but there were steps boat own­ers could take to en­sure they stayed safe.

“The in­crease in boat­ing as a leisure ac­tiv­ity in WA has had a di­rect im­pact on the num­ber of jobs the Wa­ter Po­lice re­spond to,” she said.

“It’s never too early to prepare, so be­fore the weather be­gins to im­prove is a good time to check the con­di­tion of boats and safety gear.

“Sim­ple mea­sures like en­sur­ing EPIRBs, marine ra­dios, flares and life jack­ets are in good work­ing or­der could save your life or the life of a loved one.”

Re­becca O’Ke­effe, Noel Min­nock, Michelle Roberts, Bruce Rodgers and Bren­dan Packard on board the Cygnet V.

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