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Marine Rescue Narooma and Bermagui crews combine to rescue stranded anglers

Marine Rescue NSW volunteers have safely returned two anglers to shore following a challenging rescue overnight.

Radio operators at Marine Rescue Narooma took a call for assistance just after 5pm on Sunday (18 February) from a skipper whose seven-metre fiberglass vessel lost engine power and steerage 22 nautical miles (40kms) offshore.

Marine Rescue NSW Inspector Glenn Sullivan said the fishers were chasing marlin off Tuross Canyons when their vessel became disabled.

“A volunteer crew was assembled and deployed on rescue vessel Narooma 30.

“Thankfully a nearby private vessel provided initial assistance to the stranded anglers and commenced a tow.

“Narooma 30 arrived on scene took over the tow and planned to return the anglers and their disabled vessel to Narooma but conditions deteriorated during the rescue mission.

“Conditions were fair when the mission commenced but the seas became choppy because of increasing winds and a storm also affected visibility meaning crossing Narooma Bar would be dangerous with a vessel in tow,” he said.

Narooma 30

Inspector Sullivan said the bar conditions were again assessed and it was decided a bar crossing was not safe.

“The disabled vessel was quite heavy and with it having no steerage it was not safe for Narooma 30 to cross the bar with a boat in tow.

“Narooma Bar is the most dangerous and challenging in NSW.

“Safely is paramount for our volunteers and those we assist,” he said.

Inspector Sullivan said a decision was made to task volunteers from Marine Rescue Bermagui to complete the rescue mission.

“Bermagui 30 was deployed and met Narooma 30 and the disabled vessel off the coast.

Bermagui 30

“The tow was transferred to BG 30 with the crew tasked to return to the disabled vessel to Bermagui Harbour.

“Considering the conditions, Bermagui Harbour was a safer harbour entrance and the disabled vessel and its crew were returned to harbour at 10:45pm.

“We took the safest option last night and everyone involved was able to return home safely which is the most important thing.

“NA 30 safely crossed the Narooma Bar and returned to base at 10pm.

“Both Marine Rescue NSW crews performed extremely well in challenging conditions and our radio operators provided exceptional communications for the rescue mission,” he said.

Inspector Sullivan said boaters looking to cross Narooma Bar should always standoff, check the conditions, seek advice from Marine Rescue NSW and then decide whether it is safe to proceed.

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