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?
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.
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.