Search and rescue operation off Bermagui

STEBER RESCUE: The new Steber 30 rescue vessels from Bermagui and Batemans Bay Marine Rescue units will be participating in the SAREX operation this weekend.
STEBER RESCUE: The new Steber 30 rescue vessels from Bermagui and Batemans Bay Marine Rescue units will be participating in the SAREX operation this weekend.

IF you see lots of activity out on the ocean off Bermagui this weekend, don’t be alarmed.

Emergency service agencies are joining forces to conduct a big marine search and rescue exercise on the sea and in the air.

Some of the offshore components are weather dependent and with 30-knot winds forecast for the Batemans Coast on Sunday, the participants hoping things don’t get too rough.

As is usual with these SAREX activities, as well as in real life incidents, the Water Police coordinate the other agencies.

The exercises usually involve tossing dummies overboard to represent persons missing at sea.

All the Far South Coast Marine Rescue NSW units from Bermagui, Narooma, Batemans Bay, Eden and Merimbula are participating and will search for the “missing persons” at sea, often doing grid pattern searches as directed by the Water Police.

Also participating on land are paramedics from Ambulance NSW as well as local police officers.

Marine Rescue Bermagui commander Alec Percival said theory of set and drift was planned for Saturday with a practical on-water component conducted off the coast of Bermagui on Sunday morning.

The SAREX will also be a chance for the Bermagui unit to test out its brand new Steber BG30 rescue vessel, he said.

In the air, the Westpac Lifesaver 3 helicopter will be taking part and Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopters (Southern Region)CEO Stephen Leahy will be giving one of the lectures for participants.

LIFE SAVER 3: Westpac Life Saver 3 pictured here off the Narooma surf beach will be the eyes in the sky for the SAREX.

LIFE SAVER 3: Westpac Life Saver 3 pictured here off the Narooma surf beach will be the eyes in the sky for the SAREX.

NAROOMA VESSEL: Heading down for search and rescue activities is Marine Rescue Narooma's RHIB.

NAROOMA VESSEL: Heading down for search and rescue activities is Marine Rescue Narooma's RHIB.

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