IT has been a busy few weeks for Marine Rescue at Jervis Bay, according to deputy commander Jurgen Kiaupa.
“We’ve had more than twice as many callouts than before for this period,” Mr Kiaupa said.
He said most of the callouts had been for assistance rather than rescues, largely from engine failure.
“When that happens we go out to the stranded boat, throw them a rope and tow them back to the ramp they started from.”
Mr Kiaupa said the biggest call on resources was when Jervis Bay Marine Rescue spent every day for two weeks searching for a missing fisherman washed off rocks near Little Beecroft Head.
“In the end all we found was a life-ring and Esky that were thrown to him after he was washed off.”
Mr Kiaupa said the increase in callouts was due to the growing number of tourists bringing their trailer boats to Jervis Bay.
“Fortunately, Marine Rescue has grown over the last few years and can handle the extra work,” he said.
“In four years our numbers have gone from around 40 to 65, an increase of more than 50 per cent.”
He said the aggregation of several marine rescue outfits such as Coastal Patrol under one umbrella organisation, better media coverage and the good online presence of Marine Rescue made a big difference to the number of volunteers joining up.
Bruce Mitchell, regional controller for Marine Rescue from Wollongong to Kioloa, said the Jervis Bay crew was the busiest in his region, taking nearly half of the 29 callouts.
“The sad fact of the holidays is that out of those 29 boats assisted only one had logged their trip with Marine Rescue, and none of the boats had a radio.”