The road to St Helens from the south was washed away at Basin Creek (Photo: ROSS MARSDEN)
On 12 and 13 January 2011 St Helens received 148 mm of rain, followed by flash flooding in the town and closure of all roads into the town.
St Helens Marine Rescue assisted the community by providing crews to assist with sandbag filling and recovery of boats that had filled with rain water. At the request of SES, RV Larapuna was on standby should any rescues be required from the fast flowing rivers.
Electricity to Binalong Bay was also cut for several hours and, as all roadways to the Bay of Fires were also closed, St Helens Marine Rescue was requested to take Aurora Energy technicians by boat to a pickup point from where Binalong Bay firemen provided transport to the problem. A wary eye was kept for the in and out trip as large logs and debris were everywhere in Georges Bay.
In 2010 the St Helens Marine Rescue Association assisted 78 vessels, carrying a total of 197 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 (27)
- escorting vessels accros the bar and through the channel (44)
We primarily used our Stabicraft rescue vessel Break O’Day for these operations (72 operations) while our larger, sea-going rescue vessel Freycinet was used 6 times.
Our rescue base handled 4,304 VHF calls and 308 calls on 27MHz communicating with 1,418 vessels carrying a total of 2,831 persons.
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St Helens Marine Rescue Team at open day
St Helens Marine Rescue threw open the doors to their St Helens facilities to celebrate the official handing over of the new vessel to serve the East Coast Community, RV Larapuna
Mayor Robert Legge performed the official duties along with Rebecca White, MP for Lyons, and Tanya Rattray MLC. The Association’s vessels were then available for public inspection.
Long-service plaques were presented to Greg Bennett, Dave Tippen and Duncan Hollingsworth with 45 years of dedicated service between them. Sue Breen was recognised for lifetime dedication to marine Safety.
All other members received certificates of appreciation for their service and dedication to the team work that is representative of St Helens Marine Rescue.
Blessing of the Fleet 2010
On the 24 October the annual Blessing of the Fleet was conducted on the St Helens Wharf by the Rev Alexander Withers. Approximately one hundred supporters and local community members attended to pay homage to our life around the sea. Rev Withers blessed the fishing fleet, crews, Marine Police and the local marine rescue unit.
Many took advantage of the opportunity to jump aboard the Marine Rescue, Tasmanian Police and Troy Rainbird (Nifty II ) vessels for a trip down the bay after the service.
More photos on our Facebook page.