Volunteer chiefs applaud rescue package

NEWS - Volunteer chiefs applaud rescue package

“It’s the most important advance in marine safety for the recreational boating public in Australia since the Volunteer Coastal Patrol was established in 1937,”said Commodore Peter Phillipson, Officer Commanding, Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol.

Commodore Phillipson was responding to Minister for Ports & Waterways, Joe Tripodi's cheque for a $3 million grant to the chiefs of the three existing volunteer marine rescue groups that serve the NSW boating public. The cheque handover marked the formal establishment of Marine Rescue NSW.

“This grant is a just and intelligent allocation back to the NSW boating community of revenue gathered by NSW Maritime from this group through boating licence and registration fees.” said Commodore Phillipson.

The new, unified volunteer marine rescue organisation will provide NSW with the largest safety net of marine search and rescue, radio communication and boating education services of any state in Australia.

Commodore Phillipson, together with Commodore Frank Robards, Chair of the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard Association NSW State Council; and Bill Carter Chair of both the Volunteer Rescue Association Marine Committee NSW and the NSW Volunteer Marine Rescue Council, joined to endorse the NSW Government’s action.

“Although there has been good informal co-operation between the three organisations in the past,” said Bill Carter, “the new single organisation will eliminate any uncertainties that arose from different corporate structures and procedures. We will all be speaking with one voice now. The boating public will know they only have to contact one organisation anywhere in NSW waters. This is a big advance for both the volunteers and the public.”

Marine Rescue NSW will unify 56 accredited volunteer marine rescue units on the NSW coast into a single, cohesive organisation that will simplify and streamline marine rescue, radio and education services for the NSW boating community.

“While each of the three existing organisations is saddened by the impending loss of their individual identities in NSW, we know that our respective proud histories and experience will always remain and indeed, will form an important part of the foundation of Marine Rescue NSW.” said Commodore Robards.

Marine Rescue NSW will be launched to the public at the Sydney International Boat Show later this month. The volunteers’ new blue uniforms will be the first visible sign of the new organisation and two rescue vessels will show off the new white and red livery that will be introduced as existing vessels are replaced or refurbished.

For more details about Marine Rescue NSW visit www.marinerescuensw.com.au