All eight Marine Rescue units from the Hunter and Central Coast will converge on Swansea Heads this weekend for a major regional Search and Rescue Exercise.
The training operation will involve over 100 volunteer crew members who will be given a scenario to respond to along with other agencies including the Westpac Rescue Helicopter.
The annually-held joint exercise is often a dry run for real emergency situations the Marine Rescue volunteers are faced with.
Hunter Central Coast Zone Duty Operations Manager, Inspector Steve Raymond says it is a crucial training exercise.
“To ensure volunteers are rescue ready, with the on water component to begin on Saturday morning when a search and rescue scenario is delivered.
“We’re looking at holding the exercise offshore depending on conditions on the day.
“About a third of Lake Macquarie’s jobs are offshore and it’s an environment where Water Police and other agencies also need to practice as well.
“The majority of the event will be offshore.
“On the Saturday we’ve got a vessel exercise which will involve the Central Coast, Terrigal, Tuggerah Lakes, Norah Head, Lake Macquarie, Newcastle, Lemon Tree Passage and Port Stephens units.
“There’s quite a few involved in that, probably 50 or more volunteers.
“We also have a desktop exercise running as well and we have over 50 volunteers involved in that,” Inspector Raymond said.