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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Posted in Activities
Jess, Kylie, Bob and Tha (L - R) ay St Helens Bakery
St Helens Bakery has supported St Helens Marine Rescue on numerous occasions, generously supplying goods free of charge for our fund raising and social nights.
It is always a pleasure to be assisted by Bob and his cheerful smiling staff.
St Helens Bakery is next to the BP service station in St Helens, conveniently located in the centre of the town and only a short walk from the wharf. Please support them in return!
Tagged with: St Helens Bakery
Posted in Funding
Search and Rescue Exercise
On Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 April St Helens Marine Rescue Surflivesaving (Tasmania) Tasmania Police and SES took part in marine rescue and training exercises in Georges Bay, at the St Helens Barway and at sea. Ten boats participated with 30 persons attending. Detective Sergeant Mike Gillies (Norther Tasmania SAR) ran the exercise.
The main exercise consisting of a line search with boats extended over 1.5 km was succesfull and the “body” was recovered in survival time frame. Boating skills were tested on the St Helens Barway, with a 2 to 2.5 metre swell also providing some excitement.
More photos available by clicking on the thumbnails below.