HEAD: Club Marine to the rescue

Club Marine to the Rescue

As the new Club Marine Assist programme becomes more popular, Club Marine says its members are finding that 1 300 00 CLUB is an important number to have on their mobile phones. Read on…

It was a warm Sunday morning at the end of March, and Shaun Perrara had just loaded his wife, three kids and a mate onto his 5.25 Revival Cuddy and set out from Melbourne’s Patterson Lakes, for a day of boating on Port Phillip Bay.

Unfortunately, things didn’t work out. “Just as I got out of the channel, I got some beeping coming out of the console,” Perrara recalls. “The motor overheated and it was all to do with a plastic bag that wrapped itself around the inlet.”

Suddenly drifting without power and in danger of hitting the rocks that line the channel, Perrara rang Club Marine Assist for help. The operator on the other end of the line took immediate action, and after she acquired his GPS coordinates, contacted the Water Police and dispatched the Coast Guard.

Assured that the Coast Guard was on its way, Club Marine said Perrara beached the boat and waited. It wasn’t long before the rescue boat was sighted. With the help of a friendly jet-skier, who ferried a tow rope between Perrara’s boat and the Coast Guard, the stranded group was headed back to shore in less than an hour.

“It was an exciting and adventurous day,” Perrara admits. “I wasn’t terribly pleased with the events as they occurred, but my partner and kids were unfazed by the adventure because we managed to get a conversation going with Club Marine Assist and action straight away.”

“Shaun’s story is exactly the situation we had in mind when we put the Club Marine Assist programme together,” says Club Marine CEO, Mark Bradley. “It’s all about giving you help when you need it most.”

Teaming up with Mondial Assistance — a global provider of roadside assistance — has enabled Club Marine to provide its members advice, assistance, directions and the kind of personal service never before seen in the Australian recreational boating market.

Bradley says that when the programme was set up with Mondial Assistance, Club Marine worked through a range of scenarios, from on-the-water emergencies to the search for a boat pen in a new marina. “Basically, anything that might ruin a day out on the boat,” he said.

Since the programme was launched in January, Club Marine Assist has apparently taken over 1300 calls from Club Marine members. Many of the calls were from people in emergency situations, but a vast majority of the calls were from members simply looking for advice, directions weather and legal assistance.

Bradley says the more Club Marine members learn about Club Marine Assist, the more they’re seeing it as another way to improve their day out on the water.

“The rescue situations, of course, play a crucial role in the Club Marine Assist programme,” he says, “but we are also quite
happy that over 800 members rang to ask about tide times and harbour locations, fully taking advantage of the membership programme.”

Club Marine Assist is available free to all Club Marine members, 24 hours a day, seven days a week with operators on standby to help with simple problems, like how to contact the harbourmaster or marina operator and directions to the fuel service wharf, as well as road-side assistance for cars or trailers or help to locate a tradesman or repairer in an unfamiliar town.

For further information, phone 1 300 00 CLUB (2582).