By the numbers
On Apr 2, 2024

Marine Rescue NSW completes busiest Easter on record

Marine Rescue NSW volunteers across the state responded to a record number of search and rescue missions over the 2024 Easter long weekend.

Volunteer crews completed 163 search and rescue missions including 54 emergency responses over the four days, safely returning 440 people to shore.

The previous busiest Easter for Marine Rescue NSW was in 2022 when volunteers completed 154 missions.

Marine Rescue NSW Deputy Commissioner Darren Schott said favorable weather over the Easter break led to high numbers of boaters hitting the state’s waterways.

“The state experienced great weather over the weekend, it was perfect for boating and many people took the opportunity to get out on their boat.

“Our volunteers were extremely busy across Greater Sydney, the Hunter Central Coast and Illawarra regions while in other areas of the state there were fewer incidents with boaters following our safety advice and having an enjoyable day on the water,” he said.

Deputy Commissioner Schott said almost a third of responses across NSW over the Easter long weekend were for fuel related issues.

“Running out of fuel can lead to an emergency situation.

“It is important that boaters carry enough fuel for their voyage including some in reserve.

“The rule of three is the safest option, a third for your journey out, a third for your return and a third in reserve to get back safely,” he said.

Deputy Commissioner Schott said Marine Rescue NSW volunteers kept watch over more 2,900 vessels which Logged On with service over the Easter break.

“We encourage all boaters to Log On with Marine Rescue NSW every time they hit the water.

“Logging On saves vital time in the event of an emergency and can be done in a minute either via the free Marine Rescue app or VHF marine channel 16,” he said.

Marine Rescue NSW’s Greater Sydney region was the busiest in the state with volunteers completing 77 search and rescue missions, safely returning 220 people to shore.

The eight units located on the Hunter/Central Coast combined to complete 40 missions while 68 people were safely returned to shore across the Illawarra region where crews responded to 24 calls for assistance.

Greater Sydney’s Botany Port Hacking unit completed multiple responses to assist disabled vessels off Stanwell Park on the Illawarra Coast while a volunteer crew from Newcastle escorted a disabled sailing vessel with two exhausted sailors on board safely into Newcastle Harbour on Saturday night.

Volunteers from Marine Rescue Forster Tuncurry returned two people and their disabled 14 metre yacht back to harbour after receiving a PAN PAN call at 2:45am on Saturday. The sailors made the call for help after the propeller shaft failed on their vessel 17 nautical miles (31km) southeast of Forster.

Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie also responded to a PAN PAN on Easter Monday after a mast snapped on a sloop with four people on board.

Three busiest Marine Rescue NSW regions – Easter 2024

Greater Sydney – 77 search & rescue missions including 11 emergency responses with 220 people safely returned to shore across all 7 Greater Sydney units – Hawkesbury, Cottage Point, Broken Bay, Sydney – State Communications Centre, Middle Harbour, Port Jackson & Botany Port Hacking.

Hunter/Central Coast – 40 search & rescue missions including 17 emergency responses with 108 people safely returned to shore across all 8 Hunter/Central Coast units – Port Stephens, Lemon Tree Passage, Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Norah Head, Tuggerah Lakes, Central Coast & Terrigal.

Illawarra – 24 search & rescue missions including 14 emergency responses with 68 people safely returned to shore across all 7 Illawarra units – Port Kembla, Shellharbour, Shoalhaven, Jervis Bay, Sussex Inlet, Ulladulla & Kioloa.

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