On Dec 9, 2020

New chapter for first offshore unit rescue vessel

The largest rescue vessel in the Marine Rescue NSW fleet Lord Howe 40 was farewelled from Port Macquarie today, headed for its new home base on Lord Howe Island.

The boat will be the island community’s first dedicated rescue vessel, with local volunteers to start training on board in coming weeks, ready for the start of operations early in the new year.

The former NSW Police 16m patrol vessel Fearless, LH 40 has undergone a $700,000 refurbishment in readiness for its new career under the MRNSW banner.

Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams today farewelled the newly-refurbished vessel and wished it well for its 320 nautical mile journey.

“Having undergone extensive sea trials here in Port Macquarie, Lord Howe 40 is now ready to begin the next chapter in its life, helping keep watch over Lord Howe Island’s many local and visiting sailors and boaters,” Mrs Williams said.

“Lord Howe 40 recently underwent a complete refit and facelift at Birdon Marine right here in Port Macquarie, thanks to an investment of more than $700,000 by the NSW Government.

“This is part of the $37.6 million the Government has invested over four years to deliver MRNSW 38 new rescue vessels, improve volunteer facilities and continue upgrading the marine radio network.

“This expenditure is aimed at ensuring our Marine Rescue volunteers have safe, reliable and modern vessels such as Lord Howe 40 to support the volunteers in their mission to save lives on the water.

“I’m delighted in the support of the NSW Government in enhancing the safety of the boating community and in supporting local jobs and industry here on the Mid North Coast.”

Marine Rescue NSW Fleet Manager Kelvin Parkin said comprehensive sea trials had readied the vessel for the 18 hour journey to its new home on Lord Howe Island.

“Today is an exciting day for everyone at Marine Rescue as our first offshore rescue vessel sets off on its maiden voyage in our own livery.”

Marine Rescue Lord Howe Island Unit Commander McFadyen, who spent five years operating on Fearless as a member of the NSW Police Force Marine Area Command, said the new unit’s 34 volunteers were eagerly anticipating starting training on board LH 40.

“I’m excited to be here today in Port Macquarie to help take Lord Howe 40 home to start the next chapter in its service life.”

Photos: Brad Whittaker

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