In a boating emergency

Radio for help on

Channel 16 on VHF 
(distress and calling channel)

Channel 88 (27.880 MHz) 
on a 27 MHz radio

Call MRNSW on

9450 2468

Or call

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News & Media

  • MRNSW Illawarra volunteers rescue boaters stranded far offshore
  • September 22, 2017

Photo:A six metre vessel retrieved 13nm off Gerringong this morning by MRNSW volunteers on Shoalhaven 30. (Marine Rescue Shoalhaven)

Two rescue operations far off the Illawarra coastline over the past 24 hours have demonstrated the lengths Marine Rescue NSW volunteers go to save boaters in trouble.

On Wednesday evening (20/9/17) about 6pm the rescue vessel Port Kembla 30 headed out to sea to retrieve an eight metre runabout with three people on board stranded 26 nautical miles (about 48km) east of Port Kembla.

Marine Rescue Port Kembla radio operator Douglas Cooper received a call for help at the unit’s Hill 60 radio base, with the skipper reporting the engine would not start.

A passing vessel towed the broken down boat for about six nautical miles before Port Kembla 30 arrived on the scene after an hour-long journey from port to take over the tow.

The crew, skipper Kevin McCulloch, John Dean, Paul Box and Geoff Beohm, returned the boat safely to shore about 10pm after a slow trip back through rough seas.

This was followed by an early morning operation today, when Marine Rescue Shoalhaven radio operator Helen Clancy heard a call for help from a six metre boat 13nm with an engine problem off Gerringong at 6.21am.

The fishing boat with three people on board was towed back to Greenwell Point by rescue vessel Shoalhaven 30, skippered by Mike Boadle and crewed by Ray Jones and Martin Kaye.

MRNSW Illawarra Regional Operations Manager Bruce Mitchell congratulated the volunteers on their swift and professional response to both emergencies.

He said long range rescues were quite rare, with the Port Kembla operation the first one to such a distance for quite some time.

Mr Mitchell urged all boaters to carry a marine radio on board and always make their initial call for help on VHF Channel 16, which MRNSW monitored day and night.

“MRNSW operates and maintains the marine radio network that is vital to the safety of recreational and many other boaters on NSW waters,” he said.

“Both of these calls from far offshore came through loud and clear over the radio network, ensuring that our volunteers were quickly activated and under way to return these boaters to safety.

“Boaters in trouble should always make their initial call for help on VHF Channel 16.

This maximises the chance that they will be heard, not only by our radio operators but also other nearby boaters, who may be able to reach them quickly to help.”


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