On May 10, 2022

Minister Cooke visits Port Kembla unit

On Monday 9 May, Minister for Emergency Services, Resilience and Flood Recovery, Steph Cooke, visited Port Kembla where she opened renovations to the iconic radio base on Hill 60 and commissioned Marine Rescue Port Kembla vessels PK20 and PK31.

Also in attendance was Parliamentary Secretary for Wollongong and the Illawarra Peter Poulos, MRNSW Deputy Commissioner Todd Andrews, Lord Mayor Wollongong City Council Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM, SLSNSW Chief Executive Officer Mr Steve Pearce, IMB Bank Unanderra branch Alex Janeski, MRNSW Board Director Mr Keven Marshall and Unit Commander MRNSW Port Kembla Mr Kevin Bradley.

Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience Steph Cooke today said boaters in the Illawarra would be safer thanks to a $1.2 million investment by the State Government in the Marine Rescue Port Kembla base.

Minister Cooke with volunteers from the Marine Rescue unit at the Hill 60 base

The investment includes $869,000 for two new state of the art rescue boats, an extensive $273,000 refurbishment of the unit’s iconic radio base on Hill 60, and a $55,000 enhancement to crew facilities at Port Kembla Harbour.

“Port Kembla 20 and Port Kembla 31 are two of 38 new rescue vessels funded by a $37.6 million four-year State Government investment to support the vital, life-saving work of Marine Rescue NSW volunteers,” Ms Cooke said.

“With powerful Suzuki engines and specialist Raymarine Suite of maritime navigation equipment, these new rescue boats have the speed and technology to quickly and safely get where they need to when vital seconds count.”

“These outstanding rescue vessels are a valuable investment in the safety of the Illawarra’s large local boating community and its many visiting boaters.”

“The refurbishment of the radio base will ensure clear and reliable radio communications in emergencies, with new crew facilities providing volunteers with an all-weather space to train and from which to coordinate emergency responses.”

“I’d also like to acknowledge the generous support of the IMB Bank Community Foundation who donated $70,000, and the Port Kembla Investment Fund who contributed $180,000 towards the Hill 60 project.”  

Marine Rescue Commissioner Stacey Tannos said the two new rescue boats had been purpose-designed and built to meet demanding local operating conditions, and would prove a reassuring presence for locals and visitors alike.

“Boaters in the Illawarra can rest easier knowing that these state of the art craft are at the ready should they run into trouble,” he said.

“Built in NSW by Yamba Welding & Engineering, these new rescue vessels are part of our ongoing commitment to support manufacturing in NSW, as well as the safety of boaters.”

Minister Cooke and dignataries at the vessel commissioning

Marine Rescue Port Kembla Unit Commander Kevin Bradley said the new vessels were a significant improvement over the unit’s former boats.

“The upgraded search and rescue technology on board including radar, sonar and FLIR night vision will improve our search capability, which is vital to our mission of saving lives here on the coastline,” he said.

“With larger windows for better visibility, improved handling and maneuverability and greater volunteer comfort, our crews will be able to operate more safely for longer periods and in a wider range of weather and sea conditions.”

“The Hill 60 radio base refurbishment boasts a unique multi-purpose whale watching and observation tower that is open to the public, as well as improved facilities for our dedicated radio operators; while the new crew facilities on the Harbour provides greatly improved training, meeting and coordination facilities.”

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