A RESCUE vessel has undergone a refit to enable the Two Rocks Volunteer Marine Rescue Group (TRVMRG) to help more boats in distress.
The group relaunched its faster boat, Guardian 1, last month following a $150,000 refit funded by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services and Lotterywest.
TRVMRG received the boat in 2011. The refurbishment includes installation of an onboard navigation system with electronic marine charts and a Forward Looking Infra Red (FLIR) camera.
“This is our fast response vessel so we can get out quickly,” commander Pam Annesley said. “Guardian 1 is packed with the highest level of equipment.
“We’ve got a new thermo-imaging camera to search for people in the water.
“We’ve got terrific lights for when we do night rescues and searches.
“The engine power of two 250hp Suzuki motors make Guardian 1 a fast response vessel to help volunteers from TRVMRG work with WA Police in performing search and rescue.”
The group received the boat in 2011 and it is expected to have a 15-year lifespan with one or two refits, as long as the hull retains its integrity.
DFES Assistant Commissioner Gary Gifford said many volunteers put their lives on the line as skippers and crew members during rescues.
“Think about your own personal safety as well as safety of recreational boating users,” he said.
Hosting an event to relaunch the boat on February 23, the group also acknowledged two long serving members.
Jim Smith, of Yanchep, has volunteered in a variety of roles over the past 15 years, including skipper and trainer.
The retiree said as well as it being an inexpensive way to keep himself occupied, he enjoyed the camaraderie of the group.
“It’s good fun,” he said.
Another Yanchep resident, John Chapman, has been a radio volunteer for 10 years, usually working a Thursday shift.
“I’ve been involved with sailing and boating since I was a kid,” he said.
“It’s a very worthwhile thing to volunteer.
“It’s one of the things that you do because you feel you get to give back.”