Department comes to the rescue

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
Bunbury Sea Rescue skippers Michael Cooper and Brett Ladhams take a look over the group’s new boat on loan from Fremantle.
Camera IconBunbury Sea Rescue skippers Michael Cooper and Brett Ladhams take a look over the group’s new boat on loan from Fremantle. Credit: Jon Gellweiler / South Western Times

Bunbury Sea Rescue is testing the waters with a new boat on loan from another crew as it searches for a replacement vessel.

One of the Bunbury group’s boats was decommissioned by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services earlier this year, meaning the crew was a vessel down.

But DFES and Fremantle Volunteer Sea Rescue were quick to offer a helping hand and provided the Bunbury group with a temporary option.

Skipper Brett Ladhams said the group had already started familiarising itself with the boat and it welcomed the vessel to its fleet.

“Unfortunately regulations concerning rescue boats and survey requirements meant our previous back-up boat fell short in a few areas and we were happy DFES came to the party with one of its idle rescue boat assets in the short-term,” Mr Ladhams said.

“It is a nice-sized Naiad for general search and rescue work but small enough to allow access into the estuary and inlet.”

In the meantime, the volunteer rescue group has set up a new boat committee to investigate a more permanent option.

Mr Ladhams said the group was focussed on fundraising and sponsorship, as it is estimated a replacement boat could cost at least $200,000.

He said the vessel was a “necessity” for the group.

“This boat is essential to our group’s operations, especially coming into summer,” he said.

“We often get overlapping call-outs and even for training and as a back-up when our main boat is out of action, it’s a necessity.”

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