Sea res­cue group nets new ves­sel

South Western Times - - News - Kate Field­ing

Bun­bury’s wa­ter­ways will be safer than ever with the city’s sea res­cue crew net­ting more than $200,000 in fund­ing for a new ves­sel.

Bun­bury Sea Res­cue suc­cess­fully ap­plied for fund­ing from the Depart­ment of Fire and Emer­gency Ser­vices for a new boat after its pre­vi­ous ves­sel was de­com­mis­sioned more than a year ago.

Skip­per Brett Lad­hams said the $238,000 from DFES would go a long way to­wards the vol­un­teer group’s new back-up boat after 12 months of plan­ning.

“The boat we’ve cho­sen is a 7.5m alu­minium Air Rider de­sign that will be built in Al­bany,” Mr Lad­hams said.

“It is de­signed to be a rapid re­sponse ves­sel that is also nim­ble enough to ac­cess Bun­bury’s shal­lower wa­ter­ways and be a back-up to our big­ger res­cue boat.

“It is ex­pected to cost about $250,000 and DFES is fund­ing 100 per cent of the ba­sic build and any ex­tras BSR will cover.”

He said the new boat would give the group greater ca­pac­ity to ser­vice Bun­bury’s boat­ing com­mu­nity and com­ple­ment the crew’s 11m cata­ma­ran res­cue ves­sel.

The group has been us­ing a boat on loan from Vol­un­teer Ma­rine Res­cue WA as a short-term so­lu­tion.

“The new boat will have the ca­pac­ity to cover smaller in­shore work not al­ways suited to our big­ger boat,” Mr Lad­hams said.

“Be­ing trail­er­a­ble, it can also be de­ployed any­where in the State to help other search and res­cue re­quire­ments if need be.

“We have planned for the new boat to run iden­ti­cal nav­i­ga­tion, comms gear and helm er­gonomics to our main boat mean­ing our mem­bers will eas­ily tran­si­tion across to the new boat for res­cue work and train­ing ses­sions.”

DFES ca­pa­bil­ity as­sis­tant com­mis­sioner Gary Gif­ford said it was cru­cial ma­rine vol­un­teers were fully equipped to ful­fil their vi­tal du­ties.

“A re­view of Vol­un­teer Ma­rine Res­cue Ser­vice ves­sels through­out the State iden­ti­fied that Bun­bury re­quired two ves­sels to meet the area’s di­verse re­sponse needs, in­clud­ing in­land wa­ters and in­shore work,” Mr Gif­ford said.

“The State Gov­ern­ment’s cap­i­tal fund­ing for Vol­un­teer Ma­rine Res­cue Ser­vice groups has been boosted this fi­nan­cial year to $3.44 mil­lion and will in­crease to $4.3 mil­lion in 2020-21.”

Mr Lad­hams said DFES had been “fan­tas­tic” in its sup­port for the Bun­bury group.

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