During the period 15 June 2010 to 18 June 2011 St Helens Marine Rescue Association assisted 84 vessels, carrying a total of 239 persons. The activities included:
- aiding vessels in distress, including support to the Tasmanian Police (3);
- assisting vessels with mechanical problems or in poor weather, providing a tow-in where necessary (23); and
- escorting vessels accros the bar and through the channel (58).
The value of the vessels assisted is estimated at more than $21 million.
We primarily used our Stabicraft rescue vessel Break O’Day for these operations (77 missions) with our larger, sea-going rescue vessel Freycinet used for more challenging off-shore missions (7 missions). Our new RIB, the RV Larapuna, was used in 11 missions
Our rescue base handled 3,096 VHF calls and 92 calls on 27MHz communicating with 1,158 vessels carrying a total of 23,438 persons. One “PAN PAN” call was received and zero “Mayday” calls.
In September 2011, Robert Pennicott’s “Follow the Yellow Boat Road” expedition, a circumnavigation of Australia for polio eradication and conservation, visited St Helens.
Robert, fellow skipper Mick Souter and cameraman Zorro Gamarnik took part in this journey, the first-ever circumnavigation of Australia and Tasmania in an outboard-driven boat. They departed Sydney on the 2 June 2011 and travelled anti-clockwise around the entire coast of Australia in two 5.4m Naiad RIBs (18ft dinghies). They are expected back in Sydney around 11 September 2011.
Their trip was divided into 77 segments, ranging from 60 to 420 miles. On 48 of the segments, two seats were auctioned to the highest bidder to raise funds for polio eradication and conservation.