Last Weekend's Exercise. (14 September 2014) 


Two boats had been fishing near the North Channel safe water mark. One boat had returned to the marina due to one person being seasick. The second boat with one person on board was going to finish the drift he was on, pull the marker float and follow the first boat back. When he hadn't returned in half an hour the skipper of the first boat tried to contact him by phone and by radio with no response. He had then re launched and gone back to see if he is OK.

A short search of the area was unsuccessful, the marker float had not been pulled, so after checking with the person at the marina that the other boat hadn't returned, called marine rescue for assistance. The first boat by now was running low on fuel and is waited on site to show VMR where the second boat was last seen.

 The rescue dummy (Bob) was placed in the water some distance down drift of the “splash” point and some flotsam scattered down wind.

The Base radio operator called out the Skipper & crew and by 0905 they were on the water. By 1014 they had recovered the “casualty”, treated him for immersion, hypothermia and suspected concussion and by 1030 they had returned to the Marina and “transferred him to the ambulance”.

The exercise highlighted some areas that need to be worked on, but overall, an excellent result.

Nashira Damaged in Vessel Recovery Incident.

On the evening of August 19 Geraldton VMR’s rescue crew were deployed to assist a cray fishing boat that was towing a disabled 13.7 metre cabin cruiser from Kalbarri to the Geraldton Fishing Boat Harbour. The vessel had been damaged after hitting a reef near Kalbarri and had no propulsion other than a port side thruster. The crew left the Batavia Marina at about 1930 to meet up and help manoeuvre the disabled craft into the harbour and alongside the Jetty.

The Nashira was rafted up to the cruiser and had successfully helped it around the tight bend at the harbour entrance. As it was brought alongside, it continued to move forward and was about to collide heavily with the now stationary cray boat. The rescue boat skipper engaged reverse and prevented the collision but in the process the gunwale of the cabin cruiser came into contact with the wheelhouse of Nashira, smashing the windscreen and starboard side window. No one was injured in the incident.

Because special glass panels have to be used to replace those broken, the Nashira will be out of service until repairs are effected. If all goes well she will again be available by the weekend of the 6th of September.

In the meantime the Department of Transport and the Batavia Coast Maritime Institute at Durack Instituteof Technologyhave offered Geraldton VMR the use of their vessels should they be required.

 New Communication Channel For Those Fishing Out Wide

Geraldton VMR have recently been informed that there is now a Marine VHF repeater installed at the communications site on the Moresby Ranges.

 It operates on VHF Channel 82. It has a nominal range of 40-50 nautical miles (74 – 93 km). (See map)

 Geraldton VMR are now monitoring this channel and it can be used for Ship-Shore communications for those fishing out wide.