Marine Rescue Port Macquarie Volunteers
Our volunteers are on shifts every day providing boaters with 24 hour help, support, advice and vital safety services. We are NOT police and do not enforce the law. However we are controlled by the NSW Police via a special Marine Area Command (MAC), based in Sydney and all our rescues and assists are processed via MAC.
Our volunteers are recognised boating safety advocates, noted for their marine expertise and community spirit. Our rescue vessel crews turn out in all weather and conditions to respond to emergencies and other incidents. A day’s duties might include a Search and Rescue mission for people overboard, towing a disabled vessel back to port or transporting medical teams or firefighters to isolated and inaccessible locations or assisting NSW Parks in a whale disentanglement event. Crew are on 24/7 roster cycles. A BIG COMMITMENT. Boats can be launched within 15 minutes of call-out in an emergency.
Crew training takes approximately 6 months and includes, safety at sea, firefighting, advanced first aid, radio licence and rescue training. All carried out by highly qualified, state accredited trainers. All crew participate in maintenance and fund raising events.
Our radio base volunteers monitor the airwaves for boaters in need of rescue or less urgent assistance. We operate a PM Supporters for local boaters that provides quick response in the event of loss of contact. Our radio safety net includes a Log On and Log Off service for boaters, who are encouraged to let the unit know when they are heading out on the water, where they are headed and when they plan to return. If they do not Log Off when expected, action can be promptly taken to locate them.
Radio volunteer training includes courses, to qualify as a radio operator, Duty Watch officer and Search and Rescue Co-ordinator. We have recently re-equipped with the latest in digital radio and touch screen systems to enhance the service we provide. All training is carried out by specialist state accredited trainers. Our volunteers man the Radio base 24 hours a day every day of the year in 4 hour shifts by day and 12 hour overnight. All radio base volunteers participate in fund raising events.
Of course, the ongoing costs of operating the boats and radio base is quite considerable. We have to raise around 80% of our yearly operating costs. This is done via fund raising events and we have a significant number of members in our RECRUITING AND FUNDRAISING area. Our volunteers, along with our boat crew and radio members run BBQ’s, Raffles, etc.