Saffin commissions Marine Rescue Woolgoolga vessel

NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Disaster Recovery and Lismore MP Janelle Saffin had the honour of commissioning the Tamieka Lee, Woolgoolga Marine Rescue's new vessel.

Source: Marine Rescue NSW

NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Disaster Recovery Janelle Saffin today (Tuesday, 27 February) welcomed a new $862,930 Marine Rescue NSW vessel, which provides a significant boost for the Woolgoolga community.

Ms Saffin, the State Member for Lismore, was joined by Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Alex Barrell to officially commission Woolgoolga 30 to the Marine Rescue NSW fleet.

The new vessel, funded by the NSW Government, was today also named the Tamieka Lee.

Ms Saffin said it was an honour to commission the new vessel, which is a vital addition to support the life-saving work of Marine Rescue NSW volunteers.

“This rescue boat has the speed and technology to quickly and safely get rescue crews where they are needed when vital seconds count,” Ms Saffin said.

“This outstanding rescue vessel is a valuable investment in the safety of the region and the active users of our local waters.

“On behalf of the people of Woolgoolga, and visitors to our local waters, I thank all the dedicated, hardworking Marine Rescue volunteers.

Ms Saffin also encouraged all boaters to Log On and Log Off with Marine Rescue NSW either by the free Marine Rescue app or via VHF channel 16.

“Using the Marine Rescue app or establishing contact through VHF Channel 16 ensures that a search will be initiated for boaters who don’t return from a voyage as planned,” Ms Saffin said.

Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Alex Barrell said the new rescue vessel is a much-welcomed asset for the community.

“Boaters at Woolgoolga can rest easier knowing that this state-of-the-art vessel is at the ready should they run into trouble,” Commissioner Barrell said.

“Volunteer crew members at Marine Rescue Woolgoolga have been fully trained on the operation of the new vessel and are ready to respond to people in need.”

The 9.5 metre Naiad Hamilton jet boat is powered by a 575 horsepower Cummins engine and features a specialist Raymarine suite of maritime navigation equipment and FLIR (forward looking infrared camera).

Commissioner Barrell said the replacement rescue boat was designed and built to meet demanding local operating conditions and would prove a reassuring presence for locals and visitors alike.

“This vessel is launched and retrieved from the beach which was a major factor in the design phase,” Commissioner Barrell said.

“Woolgoolga 30 can quickly deploy up to 30 nautical miles out to sea to rescue boaters who find themselves in trouble offshore.

“Marine Rescue Woolgoolga is a vital part of the Marine Rescue NSW network and we are fortunate to have 45 dedicated volunteers here committed to saving lives on the water,” Commissioner Barrell said.

Marine Rescue Woolgoolga Unit Commander Brian Taylor thanked the NSW Government for funding the cost of the new vessel.

Unit Commander Taylor said the new vessel was a significant improvement over the unit’s former Ellis jet rescue boat.

“It is a superior vessel and an important asset for the community.

“The upgraded search and rescue technology on board has improved our search capability, which is vital to our mission of saving lives on the water.

“This vessel has many important features including improved handling, manoeuvrability and greater volunteer comfort allowing our crews to operate more safely for longer periods and in a wider range of weather and conditions.

“It is much lighter and easier to control than the former vessel and can essentially turn on dime,” Unit Commander Taylor said.

“This vessel, the Tamieka Lee has been named in honour of two young people with a strong connection to our Deputy Unit Commander Shirley Teague who has dedicated more than 13 years to Marine Rescue NSW at both the Coffs Harbour and Woolgoolga units.

“Shirley’s daughter Tamieka lost her life to ovarian cancer in 2016 and Lee lost his life not long after Tamieka passed.

“Lee is the son of Ursula and Trevor Kirby, long-time supporters of Marine Rescue Woolgoolga and close family friends of Shirley. 

“We are proud that this new vessel bears Tamieka and Lee’s names and that their memories can live on while it carries out its vital life-saving work on the region’s waters,” Unit Commander Taylor said.

SAFER BOATING: NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Disaster Recovery Janelle Saffin officially commissions the Tamieka Lee joined by Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Alex Barrell, Woolgoolga Unit Deputy Commander Shirley Teague and Woolgoolga Unit Commander Brian Taylor.