MARINE Rescue Shoalhaven’s capabilities are being boosted as part of a $40,000 upgrade.
For more than a decade the volunteers who watch over local boaties from the radio base at Crookhaven Heads have done so with recreational equipment.
The upgrade includes a live vessel tracking system, radio direction finder and state-of-the-art emergency radio equipment including upgraded antennas and wiring.
Marine Rescue Shoalhaven unit commander Terry Watson said radio coverage would be extended from 15 nautical miles out to 60 nautical miles.
“We got board approval for the upgrade earlier this year,” he said.
“It took a lot of planning because we need to keep the coverage going while we are installing the new equipment.”
Mr Watson said to keep costs down volunteers were carrying out some of the work. He also said local contractors were being used.
“This is a significant upgrade and will allow us to cover all the vessels up and down the coast.
“We hope to have it operational by the end of the month,” Mr Watson said.
Shoalhaven Marine Rescue radio room revamp co-ordinator Don MacKaness said the most challenging part of the upgrade was removing the old systems.
“It had been built and added to over 25 years,” he said.
“It took about a week to clear it all out and we had binds full of cables.”
He said the result would be the best rescue radio room of its type on the coast.