Breaking News:
Rescue & Services

Marine Rescue NSW Search and Rescue Exercise moved to Sydney Harbour

With an unfavourable offshore forecast, tomorrow’s Marine Rescue NSW Search and Rescue Exercise (SAREX) scheduled off Bondi Beach will now take place in Sydney Harbour (Saturday 22 June).

Marine Rescue NSW Central Zone Commander Dan Duemmer said the decision to alter plans for the exercise were made in consultation with NSW Police Marine Area Command.

“With large scale search and rescue exercises we have contingencies for adverse weather and with the current forecast we have chosen to activate an alternative plan to include an inshore component involving four Marine Rescue NSW vessels within the confines of Sydney Harbour.

“Marine Rescue NSW crews will now exercise in an area from Sydney Heads west to Middle Harbour,” Zone Commander Duemmer said.

More than 25 Marine Rescue NSW volunteers from the Port Jackson, Middle Harbour and Sydney – State Communications Centre along with members of NSW Police Marine Area Command and Surf Life Saving NSW will take part in the exercise.

“This training exercise is extremely important for all agencies as we get to collaborate and put together our training and exercises we conduct throughout the year to come together for simulated multi-agency search and rescue event,” Zone Commander Duemmer said.

The exercise will be coordinated by NSW Police Marine Area Command who will deliver a search and rescue scenario in real-time on Saturday morning.

“Fully crewed Marine Rescue NSW vessels will be deployed from the Port Jackson and Middle Harbour bases to a location in Sydney Harbour where multiple people are in the water needing urgent assistance.

“These crews will be required to locate manikins using specialised drift modelling, search patterns and expert techniques in a timely manner.

“This real-time exercise showcases exactly what we do day in, day out.

“We conduct drills and do training and exercises for the day when we get the call to go and save someone’s life at sea,” he said.

Radio operators from the Marine Rescue NSW State Communications Centre at Belrose and officers from NSW Police Marine Area Command at Balmain will support volunteer crews’ on-water.

Zone Commander Duemmer emphasized that the community should not be concerned by the Marine Rescue NSW vessel activity around Sydney Heads and Middle Harbour from 9am tomorrow morning.

“To the members of the public and boaters who might see us out there, don’t be alarmed, we are out there doing a controlled exercise.

“A helicopter may also be used during the exercise,” Zone Commander Duemmer said.

All Marine Rescue NSW units involved will maintain radio and on-water response during the exercise.

“The community can be assured that in the event of a real emergency on our waterways, our rescue craft and crews are ready to respond.

“We also remind boaters that the current weather conditions are not favourable for recreational boaters who might be planning to head offshore.

“Boaters should always check and monitor conditions and we encourage skippers to Log On with Marine Rescue NSW either via the free Marine Rescue app or VHF channel 16 so our skilled volunteers can keep watch for their safe return,” Zone Commander Duemmer said.

The NSW Government is providing financial assistance for the Greater Sydney SAREX to support the vital work of Marine Rescue NSW and its 3,400 volunteers.

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