Welcome BP Australia

St Helens Marine Rescue is proud to announce the outstanding sponsorship of BP Australia. This incredibly generous support is a prime enabler for St Helens Marine Rescue to provide for the wellbeing and safety of mariners in NE Tasmania. The sponsorship covers marine products so very necessary for the efficient and reliable performance of the marine rescue vessels.Terry Brown, the Northern Tasmanian representative for BP Australia presented Vice President Paul Young with BP’s sponsorship at St Helens Marine Rescue Base during the week.President John Dearing expressed his gratitude and appreciation for BP’s sponsorship. It is a wonderful acknowledgement of the importance that marine safety has in ensuring our waterways are safe and that support to mariners is ongoing. BP Australia is a key contributor to this cause.

BP Australia’s web site (http://www.bp.com/en_au/australia.html) has a comprehensive range of products for mariners.

Terry Brown of BP Australia and Vice President Paul Young

Terry Brown of BP Australia and Vice President Paul Young

BP Australia

BP Australia

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Pelican Point Disaster – Recovery

It is with the greatest of pleasure I can report St Helens Marine Rescue has ordered a replacement vessel for the tragically capsized Break O’Day. The community response to our recent appeal has been sensational. So  now we are in the position to purchase a new vessel, this includes the replacement of safety equipment and electronics. All of this has been made possible from the magnificent support from across the state. It is with much applause and appreciation I acknowledge the contributions from the following:

  • Community contributors small and large
  • St Helens Christian Fellowship
  • C2 Demolition
  • Rotary Club of St Helens
  • St Helens Neighbourhood House
  • St Helens Game Fishing Club
  • St Helens Commonwealth Bank
  • Commonwealth Bank Staff Community Fund of Tasmania & Victoria
  • East Coast Auto Parts
  • Game Fishing Club of Northern Tasmania
  • Scamander Newsagency & Mouth Cafe
  • St Helens Books and Coffee
  • Deegan Marine
  • Scope Insurance Brokers
  • Condor Fishing (Tas) Pty Ltd
  • QBE Insurance
  • Road Rocket Couriers
  • Greg Crick Honda and the Honda Foundation
  • Moonraker Antennae’s
  • Navico Australia
  • Hunters
  • Tamar Marine
  • BP Australia

The replacement vessel is a Stabicraft 2400. Modifications are being made to the vessel to ensure it complies with marine safety standards. We expect delivery some time in the middle of the year. During the spring St Helens Marine Rescue will announce the name of the vessel at a community event. I’ll keep readers posted on developments.

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Pelican Point Disater – Help Us to Help You

Upturned Break O'Day the day after

Upturned Break O’Day the day after

In my previous posting I described the disaster and the incredible misfortune of losing our primary rescue vessel (see the post below).  Subsequent to this  Break O’Day has been written off.  So now we are in the throes of acquiring a new vessel capable of serving mariners in North Eastern Tasmania.  Scope Insurance Brokers have been fabulous is assisting us through QBE Insurance. Both organisations cannot be faulted in the manner to which they have responded.

We are looking at a replacement vessel with similar characteristics to the Break O’Day, as this craft is specifically built to withstand the rigours of the challenging sea environment in particular the St Helens Bar. Deegan Marine is putting together plans for a new Stabicraft that will fulfill the parameters of a marine rescue vessel.

The new Stabicraft rebuild is completed (23rd September). We thank the many contributors to fund our new vessel. An update on our web site will be forthcoming in the near future.  

We look forward to continuing our service to the boating community of Tasmania. Please do not hesitate to call us on VHF Channel 16 or by phone 6376 2443 (mobile 0408 817 359).

Local St Helens businesses remain great supporters, when visiting donations can be made at these wonderful locations:


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Pelican Point Disaster – Break O’Day Capsizes

Electronics ruined

Electronics ruined

 The ABC News did a really good job covering the incident, go to:


Click on the video in the article to see the telecast.

This post is to assure mariners the three St Helens Marine Rescue volunteers who were capsized are OK despite their extremely close encounter with a maritime disaster aboard the rescue vessel Break O’Day. We still deal with the trauma, however are determined to continue our volunteering for St Helens Marine Rescue.

Last Sunday evening (4th January, 2015) will remain in our minds for our eternity. At 2130 hours a call from a Sydney/Hobart yacht, Kraken, by mobile phone requested assistance at Pelican Point. Three volunteer Marine Rescue members immediately responded and were beside the yacht within the hour. This 36 foot yacht was well and truly aground at the infamous Pelican Point sand bar facing out to sea. Why or how they were there remains a puzzle.  Attempting a night crossing the crew of Kraken had negotiated the barway (see below), however ran aground at Pelican Point.This is despite the constant reminders to yacht owners of the dangers of bar crossing.

The image below illustrates the location of Pelican Point and proximity to the St Helens Bar.

The St Helens barway and Pelican Point

The St Helens barway and Pelican Point

Further, again despite the constant warnings yachtsmen continue to gamble with this treacherous passage without the assistance of organisations such as St Helens Marine Rescue. The image below illustrates the profound issue with shallow water at Pelican Point on a high tide.

The depth profile of Pelican Point 31/12/2014

The depth profile of Pelican Point 31/12/2014

Kraken aground at Pelican Point

Kraken aground at Pelican Point the following day

It was decided to attempt to tow the yacht as was previously undertaken. After turning the yacht around the crew of Break O’Day commenced the tow. At around fifteen minutes of towing and slow progress the Break O’Day took a sudden surge to port and within a matter of seconds capsized. One crew member was thrown overboard the two remaining crew were trapped in the submerged cabin. Fortunately both  were able to extricate themselves, after grouping together on the upturned hull, we swam and pulled ourselves to the stranded yacht along the tow line. The Police vessel Polsar took the rescued members back to St Helens arriving at around 1:00 am the following day.

Members of St Helens Marine Rescue remain totally committed to the safety and well being of mariners along a 100 km stretch of coast line called North Eastern Tasmania. The incident is a salutary reminder that safety is paramount and despite the very best planning and preparation incidents like this still and will occur.


On behalf of the crew so profoundly affected by this incident I thank our families and friends who have supported us throughout this dire situation. Sadly there has been no acknowledgement of the incident or contact from any government department or agency. It makes one wonder of their appreciation of the value of emergency volunteering and the dangers they face.

We continue to provide VHF radio coverage and limited boat assistance from private vessels. Please do not hesitate to call us to log on before you journey on the water, log off this ensures your safe return.

Radio: VHF Channel 16, 27 MHz. Phone 0408 817 359 or 6376 2443

Our pride and joy has been written off, below pictures of Break O’Day.

Break O'Day towards the stern

Break O’Day towards the stern


Upturned Break O'Day the day after

Upturned Break O’Day the day after the capsize










Forward cabin

Forward cabin


Cabin and rear deck

Cabin and rear deck









Break O'Day responding to a call in earlier times

Break O’Day responding to a call in earlier times




Break O'Day returns to the ramp at St Helens

Break O’Day returns to the ramp at St Helens











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Sea Guardian – Grand Lady of the Sea

Sea Guardian nested between HMAS Onslow, Cape Bowling Green Lighthouse and HMB Endeavour in Darling Harbour Sydney.

Sea Guardian nested between HMAS Onslow, Cape Bowling Green Lighthouse and HMB Endeavour in Darling Harbour Sydney.

The Sea Guardian is the last sea going, solent-class vessel of her type in the world. Built in 1969 she served in sea rescue saving many lives and vessels over a 45 year period. She started her working life in Ireland, Wollongong in 1993 – 1998 and then St Helens in 1998 – 2009. After being saved from a recycling fate, John Brauer has brought this grand lady back to life. Still in her original livery she is the rarest vessel of her kind, destined for great things across the world as an operating vessel and on exhibition. Currently the Sea Guardian is a popular exhibit at the Australian Marine Museum in Darling Harbour, Sydney.



Sea Guardian Bell presentation by President John Dearing to John Brauer  in the company of Trevor Preece, Ken Clark, Jim Imlach and John Sullivan

Sea Guardian Bell presentation by President John Dearing to John Brauer in the company of Trevor Preece, Ken Clark, Jim Imlach and John Sullivan

The owner and skipper, John Brauer, visited St Helens Marine Rescue recently for the handing over of the Sea Guardian’s bell with the inscription of RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institute). This bell played a prominent role in the identity of the Sea Guardian while she was the prime marine rescue vessel in St Helens.

The Sea Guardian’s rescue missions in the North East of Tasmania are legendary. In one particular mission rescuing a yacht in mountainous seas 6 – 8 metres, 22 nautical miles off Larapuna on 6th of October 2005, in winds 40 – 50 knots (73 – 92 km/hour) WSW gusting to 71 knots (130 km/hour). The recovery time took 13 hours.

So, where to for this grand lady of the high seas? She is headed back to England visiting sea rescue bases along the English coastline, a trip up the Thames, across to Ireland (Dublin) then off to Loch Ness in Scotland. After Scotland there is the possibly of heading to New York to go on exhibition before returning to Australia. St Helens Marine Rescue is privileged to have had the opportunity to work with this wonderful piece of maritime history. Whilst in Darling Harbour take the time to visit the Sea Guardian. John spends a great deal of time aboard, in particular he welcomes any seafaring chats from solent-class mariners.



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