Greg Schmerl

St Helens Marine Rescue’s chairman, Greg Schmerl, has stood down from the position. Business and family commitments are not allowing him adequate time to continue his position with St Helens Marine Rescue.

We wish to thank Greg for the hundreds of hours of volunteer work. Greg, on numerous times, went to rescues and assists with no thought of his own safety and his bravery is commendable.

We all wish him well.

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Tasmanian Community Fund Grant

Paramedics and Crew board the Break O'Day

Paramedics and Crew board the Break O'Day

We are very pleased to announce that St Helens Marine Rescue was successful in its application to the Tasmanian Community Fund for funding to replace the outboard motors on the Break O’Day. The Tasmanian Community Fund awarded a grant of $28,268.19 to St Helens Marine Rescue Association in Grant round 25, and this will be used to purchase two new Evinrude E-TEC 115-HP outboard motors.

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Barway Rescue

St Helens Barway

St Helens Barway

On Saturday 2 February 2013 a crew from St Helens Marine Rescue, coordinated by Sergeant Bidgood of the Tasmania Police Marine and Rescue Services, St Helens, rescued three fishermen when their vessel was overwhelmed by a large breaking wave on the St Helens barway. A fourth person was able to swim ashore and raise the alarm.

The crew managed to transmit a mayday distress call during the incident but their position was not heard at the time.

This is a timely reminder for any boater on hearing a mayday call to ring triple-zero (000) straight away, it does not matter how many make the call. Please also keep your radios tuned to the VHF distress frequency (Channel 16) or monitor the local UHF channels (Channel 88 and Channel 94).

If you are unsure of the correct procedure for making a distress call using your ship-board radio, please review the information available on the Marine and Safety Tasmania (MAST) website.

We again ask anyone crossing the barway to:

  • Observe conditions or contact us to get an update.
  • Be more cautious on an outgoing tide.
  • Be more cautious during onshore conditions (fresh breeze from a northerly to easterly direction).
  • Log on with your local Volunteer Marine Rescue Unit using radio communications to let them know you are going out for the day.

Just doing these simple things can save a life, maybe yours?

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Preparing for Summer

Over the Bar

Over the Bar

With the weather beginning to warm up, St Helens Marine Rescue is gearing up for the summer boating season. The photo shows RV Freycinet crossing the barway in beautiful calm weather. We are putting tracks on the recently installed Garmin 12" and 8" touch-screen chartplotters, a great set-up with the pilot’s chartplotter integrated into the fly-bridge. These units are a delight to use and enhances the capabilities of our offshore rescue vessel.

The RV Freycinet was recently slipped and routine maintenance performed and the Break O’Day has been serviced. We are hopeful that a current grant application to the Tasmania Community Fund will be succesfull, allowing us to replace the Break O’Day’s 90HP Evinrude outboard motors. These motors have been fantastic, never letting us down over 353 jobs and 740 hours and have given our crews the confidence to operate on the barway in large breaking swells.

The St Helens Barway is in good condition, with the exception of heavy weather of course. We still have issues with shoal water at Pelican Point channel inside the bay and vessels of a larger draft need to talk to us before attempting to enter. The boating community are waiting for Marine and Safety Tasmania to do further work on this ongoing nuisance.

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New Garmin Chartplotters for RV Freycinet

RV Freycinet in Full Flight

RV Freycinet in Full Flight

The RV Freycinet received a very welcome update in the form of two new Garmin touchscreen chartplotters. These units have added a new level of sophistication to our navigation capability onboard the vessel.

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