Busy time for sea rescue volunteers

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
Bunbury Sea Rescue crews tow a vessel into Casuarina Harbour.
Camera IconBunbury Sea Rescue crews tow a vessel into Casuarina Harbour. Credit: South Western Times

A busy start to summer for Bunbury Sea Rescue volunteers has prompted renewed calls for boat owners to check their vessels before heading out on the water.

The Bunbury crew responded to 11 call-outs alongside three false alarms during December, with most around the Christmas and new year period.

The majority of calls were for broken-down vessels needing a tow due to engine failures or petrol problems.

While rescue crew volunteers predict more throughout the remainder of summer, training officer James Armstrong said on perspective the number of call-outs was “not too bad”.

“It’s been pretty good, it hasn’t been hectic,” Mr Armstrong said.

“When you think about how many people are out there fishing and boating now on holiday, it’s not too bad.”

He said it was a timely reminder for boat owners to check over their vessels before hitting the water.

“It’s always good after you’ve had your boat in the shed for the winter to make sure you get it serviced before you go out,” he said.

“That helps, that cuts down the things that can happen to make you break down.

“The other main thing is to make sure you let someone know where you’re going and when you’ll be back again.

“It’s an important thing because if you break down, you don’t want to be out there miles from nowhere and nobody knows you’re there and nobody’s expecting you back.”

He also said it was crucial for owners to have an EPIRB and a working radio.

“A lot of them have got a radio but they haven’t tested it out and they don’t find out that it doesn’t work until they need it,” he said.

Bunbury Sea Rescue volunteers have been preparing throughout winter including night training and Mr Armstrong said the crew was ready for anything.

“We’re ready for local things likesomebody breaking down off the beach, or things like when there’s a big search that has to be done,” he said.

“We train so we’re ready for everything.”

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