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Marine Rescue units across the Illawarra Shoalhaven rescue ready for expected busy long weekend

More than 400 Marine Rescue NSW volunteers will be ready to respond to boaters and paddlers in need across the Illawarra Shoalhaven this long weekend.

Marine Rescue NSW Inspector Stuart Massey said the Port Kembla, Shellharbour, Shoalhaven, Jervis Bay, Sussex Inlet, Ulladulla and Kioloa units are expecting a large number of people to hit the region’s waterways.

“The Australia Day long weekend for Marine Rescue NSW is always a very busy time.

“We get a lot of vessels that are going offshore from Wollongong all the way down to Kioloa and we can’t forget our inland waterways such as Lake Illawarra, Burrill Lake, Lake Conjola and St Georges Basin,” he said.

Marine Rescue NSW volunteers at the region’s seven units responded to numerous incidents on 26 January last year, safely returning 33 people to shore.

Inspector Massey is urging those planning to hit the water this long weekend to make sure their engine and battery is in good working order before heading out.

“Check that your safety equipment is all good and also don’t forget to Log On and Log Off with Marine Rescue NSW,” he said.

Logging On via the free Marine Rescue app or VHF channel 16 ensures that the Service’s volunteers keep watch for a boater’s safe return.

Logging On can save vital time in the event of an emergency.

Inspector Massey is also urging boaters and paddlers to resist hitting the water if conditions deteriorate.

“Keep an eye on conditions and always check them prior to going out.

“If there is any doubt, don’t go out,” he said.

Marine Rescue NSW is a volunteer based not-for-profit professional organisation dedicated to keeping boaters safe on the water and supporting local communities.