Marine Rescue volunteers have missed watching the NRL grand final for consecutive years after they were called out to two separate rescues on Sunday, October 6. In the first incident, Port Macquarie volunteers were called to an inshore assist for a sailing vessel suffering hydraulic failure in the Hastings River early on Sunday.

Marine Rescue Port Macquarie unit commander Greg Davies said a crew was later called out for a second incident, missing the NRL grand final.

“In the afternoon, right at the start of the 2019 NRL grand final, a yacht ran aground on the sandbar off Lady Nelson wharf,” he said. “There was also a rescue right at the start of the grand final last year. It’s uncommon because usually boats run aground further around the corner but this crew was from Port Stephens and were learning with a new boat. They had just come in on their way to Coffs Harbour and didn’t know the channel.”

Mr Davies said there were a few reminders for boaties contemplating heading to sea or in the river system. He said it is important to check the weather conditions and that batteries are fully charged and fuel tanks are full. All persons should be wearing life jackets and anyone going to sea should log on with channel 16 Port Macquarie.

Meanwhile in a third marine incident, Camden Haven Marine Rescue unit commander Ken Rutledge said a crew was called out around 7pm on Friday, October 4. “We received a call for assistance from a 14 foot vessel which had run aground at Watson Taylors Lake,” he said. “Marine Rescue arrived to find seven people and three dogs on board. The vessel was towed back.”