Barway Update, May 2010

Summer is over and boating activity has dropped off with only 3 boats requiring an escort into St Helens during April.

The southern channel on the St Helens Barway is maintaining its position, generally providing good access. Care should be taken by mariners unfamliar with the barway and at all times during heavier weather. Please contact us for advice or an escort.

Marine and Safety Tasmania (MAST) has received approval to commence dredging the shoals at Pelican Point in June and July 2010. These works are long overdue, with the shoals preventing many vessels from entering Georges Bay.

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New Night Vision Equipment

Yukon Sea Wolf Night Vision Monocular

Yukon Sea Wolf Night Vision Monocular

The Break O’Day Council resolved at their meeting on 19 April 2010 approve a grant to the St Helens Marine Rescue Association to assist with the purchase of night vision equipment.

The Yukon Sea Wolf Night Vision Monocular is a waterproof, rubberized monocular designed for outdoor use. The unit uses infrared illuminator technology and an image intensifier tube to expand viewing range in night conditions. It is compact and head-mountable and fitted with built-in camera adapters to allow for night photography as well as vision.

We will be conducting special night training during winter with the new equipment to improve our ability to perform night-time operations.

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Summer 2009/2010 Statistics

Motor Vessel Mame Escorted over St Helens Barway

It has once again been been a busy summer for the St Helens Marine Rescue Association. Our radio logs show that during this period we:

  • logged 3,012 radio transmissions on VHF
  • logged 262 radio transmissions on UHF Channel 94
  • provided assistance and tracking to a total of 793 vessels, carrying a total of 2,245 persons

Our rescue boat activities comprised

  • thirty-five (35) escorts over the barway
  • eight (8) assists and/or tows of vessels
  • assisting with three (3) police call-outs, and
  • assisting the Tasmanian Police with one (1) rescue.

In total, we helped 47 vessels into the safety of St Helens/Georges Bay, carrying 121 persons. The value of the vessels assisted to safety is estimated at over $10 million.

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Easter Fishing Tournament

Ken Turner with his 74.6 kg Yellowfin and winning fish for the 2010 Jones Waste Management Easter tournament

Ken Turner with his 74.6 kg Yellowfin and winning fish for the 2010 Jones Waste Management Easter tournament

Easter Saturday saw a field of 14 boats head out of St Helens in some choppy Southerly conditions for the Jones Waste Management Easter Tournament.

On Sunday, Ken Turner landed one of the best Yellowfin Tuna caught off St Helens in quite some time, tipping the scales at a cracking 74.6 kilograms and the best fish for the competition.

St Helens Marine Rescue put on a special sked for the tournament. Thank you to the Game Fishing Club of Northern Tasmania for their donation!

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CYCA SOLAS Trusts pledges $20,000 to St Helens Marine Rescue

Angela Matthews, Secretary, St Helens Marine Rescue, receives cheque from CYCA Commodore Matt Allen, Chairman of CYCA

In its 10th anniversary year, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia Sydney Hobart Yacht Race Safety of Life at Sea Trusts (SOLAS) has made a pledge to St Helens Marine Rescue Association Inc (TAS) of $20,000 as seed funding for the purchase of a new RIB.

The RIB will provide additional rescue capabilities and support to the main rescue vessel, Freycinet, that the association acquired earlier this year from Tasmanian water police. The RIB will also provide an additional resource to the Break O’Day municipality.

Earlier this year, St Helens Marine Rescue assisted local marine authorities when a commercial fishing vessel overturned on the Georges Bay Barway, rescuing three of the four crew members safely. Local marine authorities rescued the fourth crew member from the water.

The conditions during this rescue were difficult at best and this incident prompted the need for a better suited, more manoeuvrable vessel.

St Helens Marine Rescue Association is a wholly volunteer operated association, that maintains a 24/7 watch over the waters of the Break O’Day municipality and St Helens, providing support to commercial and recreational vessels. Additionally, the rescue service has provided valuable assistance to those yachts competing in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race (when called upon) and the Launceston to Hobart race.

In making this donation, CYCA SOLAS Trusts Chairman, Matt Allen said ‘We are pleased that the CYCA SOLAS Trusts can provide this valuable assistance to St Helens Marine Rescue, so that they can continue to maintain the high standard of volunteer marine rescue.’

‘It is associations like these that are often first to come to the aid of yachtsmen, commercial and recreational vessels. The support that St Helens Marine Rescue has provided to the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht race over the years is recognised by this donation and we look forward to their continued support in the future, should it be required,’ added Allen.

Angela Matthews, Secretary of St Helens Marine Rescue said that this funding was vital to the wholly volunteer run association. ‘On behalf of all the volunteers from St Helens Marine Rescue, I would like to thank the CYCA SOLAS Trusts for their commitment to volunteer rescue services.’

‘This RIB is a vital community asset and is greatly appreciated by the Mayor and the Break O’Day community,’ said Matthews.

One of the CYCA’s SOLAS Trusts objectives is to assist search and rescue organisations Australia wide. In the ten years since it was established, in excess of $500,000 has been donated to 17 organisations in every Australian state as well as the ACT. This is the fourth Tasmanian donation. Other Tasmanian organisations to benefit from CYCA SOLAS Trusts donations are Tasmanian Air Rescue (two donations) and Tas Coast Radio.

Reproduced from

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