Rockingham Volunteer Sea Rescue Group urge skippers to log on and off with radios


Rockingham Volunteer Sea Rescue Group members Barry Shelton, Bruce Grocock, Doug Warnock and Les Bignell are urging skippers to log on and off when they go to sea.
Rockingham Volunteer Sea Rescue Group members Barry Shelton, Bruce Grocock, Doug Warnock and Les Bignell are urging skippers to log on and off when they go to sea.

ROCKINGHAM marine rescue volunteers are pleading with skippers going out to sea to use their radios to log on and off as it could help save their lives if they get into trouble.

With up to 87,000 boats registered in the Rockingham area, only a handful of skippers are letting the Rockingham Volunteer Sea Rescue Group know their movements.

Commander Lee Bignell said there seemed to be some concern in the boating community that they had to use the correct radio procedure or call sign or pay for the service.

“We can have a carpark full of boats and trailers and only have boats 10 on the log,” Mr Bignell said.

“It is compulsory to have radios in boats yet most skippers don’t use them.

“But it could save their life, it’s that simple.”

Mr Bignell said skippers did not have to use the correct radio protocol, as long as they called for Rockingham Sea Rescue to record their voyage.

“We don’t want to know where their secret fishing spots are,” he said.

“All we want to know is where they are going so that if they break down we know exactly where we can send a boat.

“Otherwise we’ve got to go out and we could be searching for a couple of hours looking for them.”

Group secretary Doug Warnock said skippers would not be growled at if they did not used correct radio protocols.

“They’ve got to get it out of their head that nobody is going to growl at them if they don’t use the correct sequence,” he said.

“The radio operators will tell them what information they need.

“We don’t care how they do it; just call us and we’ll take it from there.”

Meanwhile, the group is looking for a new sponsor to help raise funds for a new rescue boat to replace their main boat, which is 10 years old, and for ongoing volunteer training and administration costs.

Mr Bignell said Department of Fire and Emergency Services provides funding for basic equipment but its resources were stretched, providing funding for three new volunteer groups in recent years.

The group has about 90 active members and nearly 400 members.

Rockingham Sea Rescue Log On

27mhz channel 90

Uhf channel 73