Farewell to our vessel “Freycinet”


Today we passed over the keys to the new owner of Freycinet. This was tinged with a sense of sadness as this beautiful vessel has been such a stoic member of St Helens Marine Rescue.

The reality is however the new NSCV regulations quite simply impose extremely stringent rules around what craft can and cannot operate as a rescue vessel.

To capture a little of the past, below is the announcement of Freycinet’s arrival from September 2009

David Llewellyn, Member for Lyons, today presented the St Helens Marine Rescue Association of Tasmania with the recently decommissioned Police Vessel, Freycinet.


“Although the Freycinet is 29 years old, it has been meticulously maintained and will greatly enhance the St Helens Marine Rescue Association’s capabilities and ongoing operations,” Mr Llewellyn said.

“The Freycinet will expand the rescue capabilities of the group with its range of 500 nautical miles, radar and an array of navigational equipment.

“I am pleased that this hard-working group of volunteers is able to take on such a reliable and sturdy vessel. It should provide years of service.

“The St Helens Marine Rescue Association is to be congratulated for its dedication to the safety and security of the maritime community.”

Freycinet will remain on the waters of Georges Bay as the new owner is a local. We wish him well in his new venture aboard a beautiful water craft.


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Welcome to a New Season

The summer boating season is nigh. St Helens Marine Rescue reminds boaters this time of the year is an opportunity to ensure your vessel is ready for the upcoming recreational fishing season. Have you had your motor(s) serviced by a qualified service agent? East Coast Outboards is a local service professional that maintains St Helens Marine Rescue’s vessels. We service our vessels every year without fail.

Is your onboard safety equipment serviced and up to date? I speak of your life jacket, flares kit (2 orange & 2 red), battery (charged) and fire extinguisher.

In addition to the above there is other essential equipment for smooth waters (lakes and rivers) includes bailer or bilge pump, auxiliary propulsion (oars or 2nd outboard motor), anchor (check the rope). For sheltered waters (all waters not exceeding 2 nautical miles form the coast) add a heaving line or throw bag. For coastal waters (beyond sheltered waters) add two (2) red parachute flares, radar reflector, marine radio, EPIRB, first aid kit and water for drinking.

After casting off contact our outstanding radio operators and let them know you are on the water. You can also  keep them updated on your position throughout the day. We see this is an extension to  your safety management plan whilst enjoying the fabulous fishing environment we in the North East are so privileged to have.  To do this call our operators between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm on VHF channel 16 or phone (03) 6376 2443 during these hours or 0408 817 359 after hours. If you log on (and we suggest you do) with St Helens Marine Rescue please remember to log off upon your return.

Toyota Land Cruiser our new tow vehicle

Toyota Land Cruiser our new tow vehicle


Before you go on the water there are two absolute imperatives:

1. Check the weather forecast. BOM has an excellent site which covers coastal conditions, this can be found at  http://www.bom.gov.au/australia/meteye/

2. Inform persons on land when and where you intend going out to.

To all mariners tight lines as well as a  happy and safe boating season.

We have just received a replacement, compliant tow vehicle for our SAR vessel ‘Georges Bay’. Special thanks to our fabulous members in Tubby, Josh, Ken and JD for their hours of toil in making this possible.


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University Students visit St Helens

Five second year medical students from the University of Tasmania spent a week in St Helens. They participated in the “2017 Rural Communities Program 2017 – East Coast”. St Helens Marine Rescue started their week with a guided tour of our facilities and presented an overview of our operations. Below is part of their report and their impressions of St Helens.

University of Tas 2nd Year Medical Students walk the pristine Binalong Bay beach

University of Tas 2nd Year Medical Students walk the pristine Binalong Bay beach

We are second year medical students from The University of Tasmania: Michael, Ellie, Serina, Brian, and Amy. The rural week program at St Helens has allowed us to experience first-hand rural living and health. Throughout the week and activities, we were exposed to the health services available, whilst learning from the community’s own perspective on what the prevalent health issues are that need to be addressed.

The Marine Rescue Association in St Helens oversees health and safety of commercial and recreational mariners at Georges Bay. It is run by volunteers, primarily retirees, but some still in employment. They are involved with escorting vessels through the shallow waters of the bay, monitoring the radios, and in rescue operations. High standards are imposed on vessels and training, with several volunteers holding a Coxswain certification.

There was a great community spirit in St Helens and of the people we met, a large proportion of the population which volunteer to serve the community. It was wonderful to see how passionate people were about the organisation of which they were serving and number of years of which they have been associated with the various groups.

On our rural week placement, we have enjoyed observing the great social connectedness of the community and found the locals to be very warm and welcoming.

We would like to sincerely thank all who were involved in organising and educating us before and during our stay – this was truly an invaluable experience!

We were honoured to have these distinguished visitors visit our community. We wish them the very best in their future studies. You never know we may see them back on the East Coast as General Practitioners.


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120 Year Old Yacht Visits St Helens

We at St Helens Marine Rescue are privileged to escort another princess of the seas to St Helens. This time it is Heartsease (pronounced Hart Seas), a vessel built in 1897 in New Zealand. ‘Heartsease’ is named after  a New Zealand wild flower. It is 47 feet long with an enormous mast. Skipper Peter is delighted to stop over at St Helens to replenish and rest over.

We escorted her into Georges Bay and will do the same on her departure this Thursday on the top of the tide. Skipper, Peter Repaja, is totally chipper with the wonderful waters of Georges Bay and the hospitality of the best place in North Eastern Tasmania.

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The following excerpt was taken from:

Newport’s Peter Repaja and yachting partner Alex Gilmour were forced to dock their yacht Heartsease at Bermagui on the south coast of NSW, on voyage to Hobart.

They were aiming for Hobart’s famous Wooden Boat Festival — held at Constitution Dock every two years.

The skipper said the trip across Bass Strait had been challenging. “There were fairly high winds and confused seas,” he said. “We’re currently tied up near Constitution Dock and now we are relaxing — drying ourselves out.”

“This yacht has beautiful and majestic lines,” he said. “She has a clipper bow and a counter stern. Heartsease always turns heads.”

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Anmaropa Wreck at the entrance to Georges Bay

Mariners are reminded of the sunken vessel Anmaropa at the mouth of Georges Bay. It is clearly marked by a blue and yellow navigation buoy. Photo courtesy of MaST

Mariners are reminded of the sunken vessel Anmaropa at the mouth of Georges Bay. It is now marked by a pink buoy. Photo courtesy of MaST



M18-17 Navigation Wreck Buoy – Georges Bay Barway. Location: 41 degrees 16 237 S; 148 degrees 20 072 E
The Anmaropa wreck has a pink buoy (see photo below) marking its location.

Skippers are urged to exercise due care when entering Georges Bay. Contact St Helens Marine Rescue for assistance.



The Anmaropa wreck at the mouth of Georges Bay is marked by a pink buoy.

The Anmaropa wreck at the mouth of Georges Bay is marked by a pink buoy.

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