Home' Afloat : AFLOAT April 2017 Contents 12 AFLOAT.com.au April 2017
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This is downright bloody dangerous. Marine Rescue volunteers
are not to blame, this is a leadership issue. Let someone with
some understanding of our coast and passaging up and down
it take over.
Batemans Bay, NSW.
In the line of fire
It is difficult to understand the motivation of your
correspondent who insists on blaming Marine Rescue NSW
for alleged failings in HF radio services. As we have previously
explained in Afloat, Marine Rescue NSW is not responsible for
HF radio services.
While a small number of MRNSW units have HF capability,
as part of the National Coastal Radio Network that has operated
since 2002, communications company Kordia is contracted by
AMSA and NSW Roads and Maritime Services to provide HF radio
services, including a listening watch of distress and emergency
frequencies and the provision of navigation warnings. See
<www.rms .nsw.gov.au /maritime/using-waterways/navigation-
MRNSW’s responsibility is for the operation and monitoring
of the VHF radio network for boaters on coastal waters, rather
than those at a greater distance offshore, who use HF radio.
Contrary to the allegation that “the VHF range on the south coast
is diminished”, MR NSW has achieved significant improvements
to radio coverage along the coastline and particularly on the
A current project is the upgrading of communications
infrastructure at Mt Imlay on the NSW/ Victoria border, which
has already boosted coverage over Bass Strait to such an extent
that Marine Rescue Eden recently received a Mayday call from
Lady Baron Island just north of Tasmania.
In the past 18 months, other projects at Timbillica Hill south
of Eden, North Head in Sydney, Coopers Shoot above Byron Bay,
Point Danger, Ulladulla and Norah Head have addressed blacks
pots and extended our radio footprint.
If your correspondent is serious about addressing a perceived
issue with the radio service MRNSW provides, he surely would
have contacted us directly, providing specific details. Our
door is always open and if we need to address any mistakes or
shortcomings in our service that might have occurred, we will
do so but it is hard to determine what these might be without
sufficient identifying information.
Again, if the writer is serious about addressing problems
he may have with HF radio, he would be better to contact the
responsible organisations – Kordia, NSWRMS or AMSA – who
can actually address your issues, rather than publicly attacking
a volunteer organisation which has no part in the provision of
Stacey Tannos ESM, Commissioner,
Marine Rescue NSW.
Do’s and don’ts
of wearing a lifejacket
We have just returned from a few very productive hours at
Coogee Beach, where a comprehensive Water Safety Expo was
held all day, to a receptive big crowd, despite the rain.
A major focus was to educate rock fishers about the new NSW
Government legislation requiring mandatory lifejackets while
rock fishing. The Old4New Lifejacket Program allowed people to
upgrade their old lifejackets or to get their lifejackets checked to
make sure they are in working order.
We actually bought four self-inflating jackets and were
impressed that they showed us how to service them, before
handing them over.
It was great to see shared responsibility underway for this
joint initiative of NSW Fisheries, Department of Justice, NSW
Police, Marine Rescue, Multicultural NSW, Randwick City Council,
Recreational Fishing Alliance, Roads and Maritime Services, and
Surf Life Saving.
In fact we all need to be pro-active at every level of recreational
boating which attracts such a wide audience, to ensure that
everyone stays safe.
My husband is a Master V and I am a qualified Certificate IV
so we are very safety conscious, but we learnt something today
about the new legislation:
1. If you row ashore from your boat ALONE in daylight, you
must wear a life jacket, from sunrise to sunset.
2. If you row ashore from your boat ALONE at night, between
sunset and sunrise, you must wear a life jacket, carry a
waterproof torch, a bucket/bailer and oars/paddle.
3. You must record the date you self-serviced your life jacket
every year, as well as the expiry date of your fire extinguishers,
distress flares, and EPIRB (registered with AMSA).
We were given a a very easy-to-read ‘Boating Handbook’
spelling out everything (remember: “You’re the Skipper, you’re
Responsible!”) published by Roads and Maritime (call 131236).
I hope this inspires other boaties to go online to <rms.nsw.
gov.au /maritime> to find out what they are required to do to
comply, and to check their safety gear.
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