Boat bol­sters res­cue group

South Western Times - - News - Kate Field­ing

Bun­bury Sea Res­cue volunteers are bet­ter equipped than ever ahead of sum­mer af­ter tak­ing de­liv­ery of their new­est ves­sel.

The brand new 7.5m Air Rider has been in the pipe­line for more than a year af­ter the Bun­bury res­cue group had to re­tire one of the ves­sels in its fleet.

The boat has been aptly named Dingo Mar­ley, which skip­per Brett Lad­hams said was in­spired by a pop­u­lar res­i­dent of the Outer Har­bour.

“The Dingo Mar­ley name comes from the friendly dingo roam­ing the Outer Har­bour in Bun­bury,” Mr Lad­hams said.

“We had a short­list of names and on the morn­ing we voted, Mar­ley popped her head into our base, which was an ob­vi­ous sign.”

Fit­ted with the lat­est tech­nol­ogy such as in­frared cam­era, satel­lite phone, track­ing sys­tems, radar and com­mu­ni­ca­tion gear, the $270,000 boat is a cru­cial ad­di­tion to the crew, Mr Lad­hams said.

“It is one of the first of its kind and is small enough to han­dle in­shore and es­tu­ary work but ca­pa­ble enough to tackle the rough stuff off­shore,” he said.

“Along with sev­eral other ma­rine res­cue groups around the State, we were lucky to need a new boat at the same time the sec­tor re­ceived State Gov­ern­ment fund­ing, so this boat was fully funded through the Depart­ment of Fire and Emer­gency Ser­vices.

“This boat will be a crit­i­cal backup to our ex­ist­ing 11m cat for call outs, and will be a vi­tal tool for train­ing our mem­bers.”

The boat is fit­ted with the usual res­cue equip­ment, with top nav­i­ga­tion, emer­gency gear and twin en­gines.

In a coup for the State’s re­gional ma­rine in­dus­try, the boat was built by Wester­berg Ma­rine in Al­bany. “We chose to have it built in Al­bany due to the rep­u­ta­tion of the Wester­berg Ma­rine team down there, who are very ex­pe­ri­enced with cus­tomised alu­minium boats,” Mr Lad­hams said.

“Most sea res­cue groups have theirs built in Perth.”

Mr Lad­hams also said the ves­sel was set­ting the trend for crews across the State.

“This boat is the first in the State to get the new colour scheme and liv­ery, re­cently de­vel­oped by DFES, which will in­flu­ence all res­cue boats around the State, which is pretty ex­cit­ing for Bun­bury,” he said.

De­liv­ery of the boat could not be bet­ter timed, with the crew al­ready hav­ing a num­ber of call outs as the weather started to warm up.

“We’ve had a busy start to spring so the ar­rival of this boat has come at just the right time,” Mr Lad­hams said.

Pic­ture: Kate Field­ing

The outer har­bour’s res­i­dent dingo Mar­ley. Bun­bury Sea Res­cue skip­pers Brett Lad­hams and Dave Manoni in­spect the crew’s new ves­sel.

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