The South Coast Surf Life Saving Branch has been the recipient of a new jet-ski to patrol the coastline.
The new piece of equipment, which at this stage will be based at the Nowra-Culburra Surf Club at Culburra Beach, is one of 11 new craft to be deployed across the state.
The new jet-ski, equipped with a rescue sled, has been deployed thanks to $220,000 enhanced funding to Surf Life Saving NSW by the state government.
South Coast MP Shelley Hancock and Kiama MP Gareth Ward joined representatives of South Coast Surf Life Saving and Surf Life Saving NSW to receive the new jet-ski which will be allocated to the Nowra-Culburra Surf Life Saving Branch.
South Coast president Steve Jones said the new craft world further enhance equipment and other rescue tools already located along the coast.
“We have one RWC (Rescue Water Craft) machine located at Kiama Downs, the jetboat at Kiama and two craft at Mollymook,” he said.
“We identified the lack of such a craft in the centre of the branch around the Shoalhaven Heads/Culburra area.
“This will provide us with quick response craft in these areas, and although it is planned to have it based at Culburra, it will be able to cover areas from Shoalhaven Heads, Culburra, Currarong and the northern side of Jervis Bay.
“It can also be used in various tasks such as search and rescue or other police operations as needed. Things like searching rock cliffs etc.”
The three seater, 155 horsepower Seadoo craft has been supplied by South Nowra Mowers and Chainsaws.
Mrs Hancock said the NSW government was delivering record investments in frontline services.
“Whether it is our emergency services or the surf lifesavers who patrol our beaches, we are giving them the funding and the very best equipment they need to keep all of us safe,” Mrs Hancock said.
“Surf Life Saving NSW and our emergency services are working hard to prevent drownings this summer and the new jet-ski will play a key role in preventing more tragedies.
“Our lifesavers do a great job keeping swimmers safe across our spectacular beaches each year – and I’m confident this new equipment will only further support those incredible efforts.”
Mr Ward said SLS NSW began trialing the use of jet skis back in 2002.
“They’ve proven to be a great success and been pivotal to thousands of rescues over the years,” he said.
“I thank all of our local Surf Life Saving volunteers and clubs for keeping us safe on our beaches and in the water over what will be a busy summer period.”
SLS NSW CEO Steve Pearce welcomed the new fleet of jet skis and said it would go a long way in supporting the organisation’s life-saving efforts this summer.
“I thank the government for their support of our lifesavers across the state who do a wonderful job protecting beach-goers, especially over the warmer months when thousands flock to our world-class coastline,” Mr Pearce said.
“I’d also like to remind everyone to please swim between the red and yellow flags. Many coastal drownings are away from a patrolled location or after patrol hours, so make sure you learn how to spot and avoid rip currents, and don’t overestimate your abilities in the surf.”