Tasmanian Safe Boating Handbook

Marine and Safety Tasmania (MAST) has an outstanding publication on safe boating. This is a must read for all mariners, in particular small boaters. The handbook is available as a pdf or details on how to purchase can be found on the MAST web site at (copy and paste into your browser’s address bar):


MAST handbook

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Farewell to Canadian visitors

Haulback under tow through the Channel towards the barway

Haulback under tow through the Channel towards the barway

Recently St Helens hosted visitors from Canada. Jan and Jim are sailing around the world from their Canadian departure. Note the Canadian flag flying behind the mast. Their yacht ‘Haulback’ has so far traveled the Pacific ocean and came to St Helens via New Zealand. The next port of call is Eden on the NSW coast. The journey will then take them up the Barrier Reef, through Torrens Strait and on to Indonesia.

Jan and Jim would like to thank the community of St Helens for their hospitality. They were wax  lyrical about this part of the world. Marine rescue played an active part in escorting them into Georges Bay and their departure across the notorious barway. The photo to the right is Haulback under tow from the Break ‘O Day. In order to meet the high tide on the barway a tow was employed to reduce the time across Georges Bay.

On  behalf of the East Coast community we wish them well on their journey.

Mariners are again reminded the volunteer St Helens Marine Rescue is available to assist/advise in all matters relating to marine safety in and around St Helens. Contact can be made via VHF radio on channel  (one six) 16. This is in operation from 0755 hours until 1910 hours daily. Outside these times mobile contact can be made on 0408 817 359. Email sthelensrescue@bigpond.com


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Negotiating the St Helens Barway

RV Freycinet in Full Flight

RV Freycinet in Full Flight on the unpredictable Barway

For those seeking to negotiate the St Helens bar, at this time of the year, it is worthwhile repeating an earlier post relating to the barway at the entrance to Georges Bay, St Helens. Many skippers of vessels assume that it is not possible or safe to cross the St Helens bar. It is, of course, true that the barway presents a problem with a swell on it, which is no different to most other river/bay entrances on the East Coast of Australia. However, these conditions occur on average fewer than 15 to 20 days every year. If in doubt skippers should always contact St Helens Marine Rescue  for advice when considering a bar crossing. We are available 24/7 for advice or assistance (see Contact Us).

Pelican Point, inside the bay, still poses a problem for vessels with deep draft. Dredging operations are continuing however progress is slow. Caution is required as shallow water is an ongoing issue. Again contact St Helens Marine Rescue for advice or assistance.

It is important to note that if your vessel, for one reason or another, cannot cross the bar, St Helens Marine Rescue will assist outside the barway.

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News Update

  1. Ian and Fairleigh Hollingsworth have stepped down from active service in Marine Rescue. They have been a pivotal part of our Association, carrying out executive roles, being available at all times for radio and telecommunications, ensuring the daily running and maintenance of vessels and maintenance of the base facilities. Their loyalty and unswerving service is very much appreciated by all involved in marine rescue. Both Ian and Fairleigh are eager to point out they remain members of St Helens Marine Rescue.
  2. The new President of St Helens Marine rescue is John Dearing (JD to those who know him). John takes over after the recent stepping down of our immediate past President Jim Imlach. John brings a depth of experience and energy to the role, we wish him well.
  3. Marine radio operating times have changed: 0755 hours for weather, 0810 for the commencement of regular hourly schedules until 1910 hours. The mobile phone contact remains the same on 0408 817 359.
  4. St Helens Marine Rescue is in need of radio operators. This requires joining a dedicated band of rostered operators during the day. If you have an interest in marine recreation and would like to make a contribution to marine safety then we are keen to hear from you. Qualified marine radio operators would be very welcome, however qualification training and certification is available.  .
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Passing of Greg Schmerl

It is with regret St Helens Marine Rescue informs mariners of the passing of Greg Schmerl, a most valued member of our Association. Greg was a dedicated, very involved, hard working executive member of Marine Rescue. He had a vision and worked tirelessly to ensure the Association maintained a contemporary place in volunteer emergency services. On behalf of all involved in Marine Rescue we pass on our condolences to Family and Friends.

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