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News & Media

  • Volunteers rescue crew of stricken yacht on Far South Coast
  • January 25, 2017

Volunteers from Marine Rescue NSW have been praised for rescuing two men and a woman on board a yacht in danger of smashing on to rocks in rough conditions near Bingie on the NSW Far South Coast overnight.

The 52 foot vessel had lost its steering about 15 nautical miles from Moruya, with a large southerly swell and strong south-easterly winds making seas extremely hazardous. 

A major rescue operation was mounted after the yacht’s skipper called Marine Rescue Batemans Bay for help at 6.33pm on Tuesday (24/01/17).

A full emergency response was initiated involving volunteer crews from Marine Rescue Batemans Bay, Bermagui and Narooma, with coordination support from the NSW Police Force Marine Area Command.

Two Marine Rescue vessels, Batemans 30 and Bermagui 30, were immediately deployed, encountering challenging seas and conditions.

Marine Rescue Radio Operators at Batemans Bay, Narooma and Bermagui also provided essential radio communications support, with Monaro Regional Operations Manager Glenn Sullivan advising the skipper of ways to keep the vessel from foundering until help could arrive.

After battling through 2-3 metre swells for more than 90 minutes, the crew of Batemans 30, Keith Wrench, Peter Varkulevicius, Michael Dolan and Paul Hallam, located the yacht in the darkness at 8.48pm.

The crew secured the vessel before transferring the tow to Bermagui 30, with Alec Percival, Denise Page and Ray McLeod on board, and shadowing both vessels back to shelter in Batemans Bay.

The yacht was returned to a safe mooring near Snapper Island. All three passengers were safe and did not require medical attention.

Marine Rescue NSW Deputy Commissioner Dean Storey praised the volunteers for their work to help avert a catastrophe at sea.

”Our volunteers did not hesitate to set out in very rough seas and fading light to rescue the three people on board this yacht,” he said.

“Boaters can be assured that our volunteers are standing by around the clock to respond to emergencies on the water.

“The coordinated efforts of volunteers from multiple Marine Rescue units to save three lives serve as a testament to the professional training, capabilities and resources of our volunteers.”

The Deputy Commissioner thanked all the volunteers involved in the coordinated operation, including radio officers Don Brewster, Peter Ford, Clive Cavey and Judy Barry Cotter and MR Batemans Bay relief crew members Michael Syrek, David Murn, Mathew Mason and Peter Withington.


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