Water Police relish their widening role
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.