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Marine Rescue NSW commits large contingent to important cross-agency flood capability training exercise

Around 50 Marine Rescue NSW volunteers from across the Northern Rivers, Mid North Coast, Hunter/Central Coast, Greater Sydney, Illawarra and Monaro regions will take part in the NSW State Emergency Service’s annual state-wide flood capability training exercise ‘Who Let the Boats Out’ this Saturday, 3 February.

Marine Rescue NSW General Manager Training and Capability Brad Whittaker said 21 Marine Rescue NSW vessels will be involved in Saturday’s exercise.

“It is a great opportunity for Marine Rescue NSW to work with other rescue agencies, specifically the SES in the flood rescue space and one of our targets is to improve our overall capability to support a state-wide uptake in flood rescue capability,” he said.

Mr Whittaker said it is vitally important for rescue agencies to work together and participate in coordinated training.

“That is the best way that we will be able to save lives during a real state-wide emergency.

“This is a great opportunity without the pressure of a real rescue situation to test ourselves out, to develop our skills and to most importantly find ways where we can work together smoothly and efficiently,” Mr Whittaker said.

Following the recommendations of the 2022 NSW Flood Inquiry and funding from the NSW Government, Marine Rescue NSW has been building capability and capacity to support the NSW SES and other agencies during significant emergencies.

Mr Whittaker said Marine Rescue NSW’s new custom designed multi-purpose vessels will be involved in this Saturday’s exercise.

“The Marine Rescue NSW multi-purpose vessels are shared across the state as rescue assets that will be deployed outside our normal area of operations.

“Whilst our members have been trained on the craft and inducted on them, it is important to put them into real training situations out of our normal operating areas.

“When we do these activities with agencies like the NSW SES it allows us to put our craft into a flood rescue context and to develop our skills with that in mind.

“The community can be assured that in the event of a real emergency on our waterways this Saturday, our rescue craft and volunteer crews at our 46 units across NSW will be ready to respond,” Mr Whittaker said.

Marine Rescue NSW volunteers from the following units will be involved in this weekend’s NSW SES exercise: Point Danger, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Forster Tuncurry, Lemon Tree Passage, Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Tuggerah Lakes, Central Coast, Hawkesbury, Cottage Point, Middle Harbour, Port Jackson, Sydney, Ulladulla, Batemans Bay and Tuross Moruya.

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