L-R: Tasmania Police Northern Division Marine Services, Bec White MHA , St Helens Marine rescue crew
On 1 September 2012 we celebrated the first day of spring by blessing the new Tasmanian Police vessel based in St Helens, PV-POLSAR III. The occasion was celebrated with a community barbeque.
The barbeque was also used as an opportunity to raise funds for a community contribution to a fixed location camera (webcam) to go on the St Helens barway. Once commissioned, the camera will to enable anyone to view conditions on the barway and assist skippers in deciding whether it is safe to cross the barway.
On the day we also received a sizable donation from Leigh Kelly Agencies in the form of polar fleece jackets for our crews. Thank you also to Tasmanian Locksmiths for donating the meat for the barbeque and to Bob at the St Helens Bakery for bakery goods.
Local member Bec White MHA attended the ceremony and barbeque, as did Tasmania Police commander Richard Cowling and the Deputy Mayor of the Break O’Day Council, Hannah Rubenach.
Our thanks go to everyone for attending and making it an enjoyable day.
On 1 September 2012, at the occasion of the annual blessing of the fleet, we received a sizable donation from Leigh Kelly Agencies in the form of polar fleece jackets for our crews.
Thank you also to Tasmanian Locksmiths for donating the meat for the barbeque and to Bob at the St Helens Bakery for supplying bakery goods.
St Helens Barway Courtesy of GoogleEarth
Many skippers of vessels assume that it is not possible or safe to cross the St Helens bar into Georges Bay. It is, of course, true that the barway presents a problem with a swell on it, which is no different to most other river entrances on the East Coast of Australia. However, these conditions occur on average fewer than 15 to 20 days every year.
Pelican Point, inside the bay, still poses a problem for vessels with deep draft, and dredging operations will resume in the near future to begin to resolve this.
Skippers should always contact St Helens Marine Rescue for advice when considering a bar crossing. we are available 24/7 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.
Chart showing track of rescue mission.
St Helens Marine Rescue’s vessel Freycinet and crew rescued a 30ft dismasted yacht in deteriorating conditions off St Helens Point on 22 July 2012.
This rescue once again reinforces the importance of skippers ensuring that their vessels are in a seaworthy condition, obtaining weather forecasts prior to putting to sea and heeding any severe weather warnings. There have been several boating incidents in Tasmania this year due to weather reports being ignored or not read.
During the period 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2012 St Helens Marine Rescue Association assisted 51 vessels, carrying a total of 116 persons. The activities included:
- aiding vessels in distress, including support to the Tasmanian Police (9);
- 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 (37).
Our rescue base handled 3,415 VHF calls and 61 calls on 27MHz communicating with 1,214 vessels carrying a total of 4,081 persons.
Another year has passed with the unit injury free and we have now been operating for 21 years without an injury or damage to any vessel, our own, or any we have assisted. 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.
As always, the organisation 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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