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News & Media

  • Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie crew responds to boat fire
  • May 09, 2015

A volunteer crew from Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie last night provided valuable on-water support in a joint emergency operation to extinguish a fire that engulfed a 35-foot motor cruiser off Rathmines.

A 60-year-old man on board at the time of the fire escaped with minor injuries.

A member of the public called the Lake Macquarie unit’s radio base at 8.47pm to report a boat on fire on Lake Macquarie.

Radio Operator Graham Clark, on his first full overnight radio shift, contacted Fire and Rescue NSW, which had also been alerted to the blaze and called for a rescue vessel to be deployed to support its fire crews at the scene.

The night call-out crew, skipper John Hatton and crew members Jim Wright and Garry Sullivan, was activated and Lake Macquarie 21 was quickly under way within half-an-hour, with a fire pump and hoses on board.

When LM 21 arrived at the scene, the motor cruiser had run aground just off Rathmines Bowling Club and was well alight.

Firefighters boarded LM 21, using its pump to fight the fire from the seaward side while their colleagues continued to attack the blaze from the shore. Lake Macquarie Deputy Unit Commander Roger Evans provided on-shore support to the emergency response crews.

Once the fire was extinguished, LM 21 was used to tow a hazmat boom around the damaged motor cruiser to contain any fuel spill from the 500 litres of diesel reported to be on board.

The Marine Rescue crew returned to the Pelican base just before midnight.

NSW Police reported that officers attached to Lake Macquarie Local Area Command had begun investigations, with initial inquiries leading police to believe the fire was not deliberately lit.

Police said Marine Rescue crews, with the assistance of the Fire and Rescue NSW, were expected to bring the submerged vessel in this morning.



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