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News & Media
- MR Hawkesbury watches over 76th Bridge to Bridge Classic
- May 29, 2012
John and Sharyn Gillings from Marine Rescue Hawkesbury keep a sharp look out at the start of the Bridge to Bridge Power Boat Race.
Marine Rescue Hawkesbury helped ensure the delayed Bridge to Bridge Power Boat Race on the Hawkesbury River on May 27 was safe and incident-free.
The Hawkesbury unit supplied safety vessels and a radio network for the Upper Hawkesbury Power Boat Club for the event.
Marine Rescue Race Controller Peter Moore said the event was the 76th running of the iconic Bridge to Bridge, over 116 kilometres from Brooklyn to Windsor.
“This race was postponed for four weeks due to major flooding of the Hawkesbury and Nepean catchment. The flooding had caused a safety issue with debris in the river,” he said.
One of the more spectacular crafts was the offshore Maritimo, capable of reaching speeds of 175 MPH, which completed the course in a time of 30 minutes 26 seconds, just outside the race record of 29min 47sec set by Ricky Howard in 2008.
Along with MRNSW, NSW Roads and Maritime Services, the State Emergency Service, Rural Fire Service, NSW Police Force, 210 volunteers, 59 safety vessels and six land stations were involved in providing the race safety net.
Mr Moore said with 145 power boats, 123 ski boats with skiers and 20 jet skis leaving in waves of six, at two-minute intervals, the event had featured some unique difficulties.
“The four vehicular ferries at Wisemans Ferry, Webbs Creek, Portland and Sackville required communications with the start boat and course boats to ensure that the ferries and competitors remained separated,” he said.
Six medical teams with divers were located at regular intervals along the course, with all 63 check points kept busy tracking the competitors and maintaining the safety net.
The Marine Rescue Race Control team monitored five radios and two telephones from the SES Command truck located at Windsor. Mobile reception was patchy on most of the river, with cliffs and power lines shadowing the signals, so the digital radios supplied by the SES proved an essential part of the communications system.
Marine Rescue’s Start Control team, led by Hawkesbury Unit Commander John McCloskey, monitored radios and landlines 110 kilometres away at the Mooney Mooney rescue base, where a standby crew for marine emergencies also was positioned.
UC McCloskey said 426 radio calls had been logged at the start and finish controls during the six hours of racing, which saw 32 boat failures but no incidents.
The final event featured a display of vintage speed boats of the style that completed the original race 76 years ago.
Other News This Month
- Community puts trust in rescue volunteers
- June 18, 2013
- Marine Rescue NSW appoints new Deputy Commissioner
- June 18, 2013
- Medal for marine guardian Joan Noble
- June 14, 2013
- Recognise a volunteer in your community
- June 12, 2013
- Fishers reminded about restrictions on Central Coast
- June 06, 2013