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Marine Rescue Shoalhaven launches region’s first remote controlled on-water life-saving device

Marine Rescue Shoalhaven has bolstered its rescue capability with a new state-of-the-art life-saving device after being awarded a grant by Manildra Group.

Marine Rescue NSW Southern Zone Commander Mike Hammond said the generosity of Manildra Group aided the unit to purchase the Marine Rescue Illawarra region’s first ever USafe, a motorised remote controlled lifebuoy for rescue missions on Shoalhaven waterways.

“The USafe is a versatile and reliable piece of equipment that will assist our volunteers greatly in their mission of saving lives on the water.

“It is also reassuring for boaters, paddlers and swimmers who use our local waterways that this valuable tool is at the ready should they require assistance.

“The financial support provided by Manildra Group to add the USafe to our rescue capability is greatly appreciated,” Southern Zone Commander Hammond said.

Marine Rescue Shoalhaven Deputy Unit Commander Hocking said the USafe is operated by remote control and is a valuable life-saving tool for the Shoalhaven unit’s 102 volunteer members.

“The USafe will assist rescue crews in locations where we may not be able to get a vessel, like close to rocks or in shallow waters.

“This incredible piece of equipment can assist with recovering people in the water or getting a tow line to a disabled vessel in a challenging location.

“The device is easily transferable between the Shoalhaven unit’s two rescue vessels and will be deployed when required to assist with the tasked mission.

“The USafe has a 300 metre working range and can transport up to 160kgs of buoyancy.

“It also features variable speed motor so our rescue crews can approach a person gently or steer around hazards in the water,” Ms Hocking said.

Manildra Group Shoalhaven Starches Site Manager Tertius Jones said the organisation was delighted to donate $13,000 to Marine Rescue Shoalhaven for the acquisition of the USafe, which will help save more lives on the water.

“We take great pride in our partnership with Marine Rescue Shoalhaven and their team of inspirational local volunteers who provide their time, energy, and commitment in life-saving work to protect and assist those who need assistance on the water.

“With our manufacturing site located on the Shoalhaven River, it’s important we support the work of Marine Rescue Shoalhaven in actively patrolling and performing search and rescue missions on our local waters.

“Our family-owned Australian business is deeply committed to creating positive impacts and strengthening resilience in our local communities and we’re proud our donation will further support Marine Rescue Shoalhaven’s mission to save lives on the water.

“Manildra Group also continues to invest in innovation and expansion of value-adding capabilities at our Shoalhaven Starches site – the world’s largest wheat gluten and starch plant of its kind,” Mr Jones said.

(LtoR) Marine Rescue Shoalhaven Deputy Unit Commander Lynne Hocking, Marine Rescue Illawarra Inspector Stuart Massey, Marine Rescue NSW Southern Zone Commander Mike Hammond, Manildra Group Shoalhaven Starches Site Manager Tertius Jones, Marine Rescue Shoalhaven Deputy Unit Commander Mike Boadle and Marine Rescue Shoalhaven Unit Commander Marty Kaye.

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