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.

Posted in Activities, St Helens Barway

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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Freycinet Undergoes Annual Hull Check

Members surround The Freycinet

Members surround the Freycinet

Members of St Helens Marine Rescue gathered on a perfect March day to carry out the annual hull check of the Freycinet. The mighty rescue vessel was slipped at 9 am with work commencing soon after. De-fouling – barnacles and sea weed removed by pressure hoses followed by anti-fouling painting and finally concluded with the removal of old corrosion plates to be replaced by new. After four hours the Freycinet returned to the water, fresh and ready for another year of rescue activities.

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Summer 2012/13 Statistics

RV Freycinet in Full Flight

RV Freycinet in Full Flight

During the period 1 October 2012 to 31 March 2013 St Helens Marine Rescue Association assisted 36 vessels, carrying a total of 94 persons. The activities included:

  • aiding vessels in distress, including support to the Tasmanian Police (4);
  • assisting vessels with mechanical problems or in poor weather, providing a tow-in where necessary (12); and
  • escorting vessels across the bar and through the channel (20).

Our rescue base handled 2,294 VHF calls, communicating with 887 vessels carrying a total of 2,673 persons.

We would like to thank our volunteers, radio operators and boat crews for the hours invested in training and operating to provide the service, often in dangerous conditions. We are very proud of the performance of the boat crews, coping with difficult tows and dangerous barway conditions. Our radio operators are on duty for long hours and continuous radio traffic. St Helens Marine Rescue also plays an integral roll co operating with Tasmania Police in keeping our waters safe.

As always, the organisation also could not continue without the generous support of our sponsors and donations from the public. Your contributions, regardless of the amount, are always gratefully accepted.

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