Fine weather and favourable seas brought boaters out in droves across the Hunter’s waterways over Easter, but local Marine Rescue crews were kept busy too.
While the majority of rescues over the long weekend were for boaters experiencing engine or battery failure or running out of fuel, there were several serious incidents including the grounding of vessels at Newcastle and Lake Macquarie, and searches for missing boaters at Port Stephens.
The sheer volume of incidents over the four-day holiday has prompted concern about the ANZAC Day long weekend.
Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos said there were a few simple tasks that boaters could do now to ensure that they didn’t end up at the end of a tow rope after being rescued by one of the service’s rescue vessels.
“This ANZAC Day long weekend, make sure you have enough fuel for your journey with plenty in reserve,” Commissioner Tannos said.
“Check your battery is in good order, and don’t head out unless your engine has been recently serviced. Check the weather and sea forecast is suitable, and most important of all, make sure that you, and everyone on board, are wearing a lifejacket.”
Commissioner Tannos also issued a reminder to register the details of any trip when heading out onto the water.
“It’s also essential to let someone know where you are going and when you are returning. You can do this on the Marine Rescue app or on your marine radio on VHF Channel 16. We’ll watch out for your safe return, and start searching for you if you are overdue.”
Over the Easter long weekend there were a total of 159 rescues conducted across the state by Marine Rescue NSW.