New vehicle will speed up rescues

Tuggerah Lakes Marine Rescue has received a grant to purchase a new rescue vehicle

Tuggerah Lakes Marine Rescue has received $56,586 to purchase a new rescue vehicle as part of a $233,000 Infrastructure Grants Project.

Marine Rescue NSW Deputy Commissioner of Corporate Services, Todd Andrews, said: “The grant would enable the volunteers of the Marine Rescue Tuggerah Unit to more effectively undertake their vital work of saving lives on the water.

“With the bar at The Entrance too dangerous for navigation, the new rescue vehicle will give our volunteers the flexibility they need to tow their new rescue vessel quickly and safely to wherever it is required, whether within the Tuggerah Lakes or further afield,” Andrews said.

Tuggerah Lakes Marine Rescue Unit Commander, Bob Sutton, said the new Mazda BT-50 will allow the squad to launch their rescue vessels quickly and safely.

“This new vehicle will give us more range and capability to help with our operations and assist other emergency services.

“We work with emergency services for search and rescue operations, and we are usually the first responders to any emergencies out on the water.

“We also assist in community events such as towing out fireworks on the lake, or supervising water sport events.

“We have two bases, our North Base in Toukley and our South Base in The Entrance North and we cover Lake Munmorah and Tuggerah Lake.

“We conduct well over 100 operations each year and these can range from very simple rescues to more complex ones.

“Our volunteers have been called up to help in other areas as well such as flooding up in Forster or assisting when the bushfires were around.

“We are very grateful for Mr Crouch and Mr Dominello coming to present this cheque to our squad, and also thankful for Marine Rescue Deputy Commissioner, Todd Andrews for coming up to receive the cheque,” Sutton said.

Tuggerah Lakes Marine Rescue currently has 56 volunteers and Sutton said they are seeking more.

“We’re recruiting volunteers for crew, radio and support roles.

“Anyone who is interested can apply on the Marine Rescue NSW website and nominate the Tuggerah Lakes Unit,” Sutton said.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast, Adam Crouch, said: “This funding will give Tuggerah Lakes Marine Rescue the chance to undertake upgrades that will benefit the Central Coast community.

“Community organisations are the backbone of the Central Coast, and this funding will enable them to strengthen and continue their amazing work,” Crouch said.

Minister for Digital and Customer Service, Victor Dominello said not for profit organisations with a clear vision on how to create value for their communities are ideal candidates for the grants.

“Many organisations on the Central Coast struggled to maintain sports, cultural and other social activities during the pandemic so it’s great to see these projects giving a boost to community spirit,” Dominello said.

Harry Mulholland