Batemans Bay to Bermagui Marine Rescue SAREX training 2019

SEARCH: Rescue water craft operators Wayne Ellison, of Marine Rescue Tuross, and Alison Philip, of Marine Rescue Narooma, scoured waters closer to shore.
SEARCH: Rescue water craft operators Wayne Ellison, of Marine Rescue Tuross, and Alison Philip, of Marine Rescue Narooma, scoured waters closer to shore.

Marine Rescue is confident heading into the summer boating season after a weekend of rescue training with 120 specialists from the Illawarra and Far South Coast.

Volunteers from 12 Marine Rescue units and representatives from the NSW Police Marine Area Command, Surf Life Saving and Westpac Life Saver rescue helicopter joined for the Search and Rescue Exercise (SAREX), based at Batemans Bay.

The exercises tested agencies' skills and coordination ahead of summer boating traffic and the Sydney to Hobart yacht race.

It also tested new and upgraded communications infrastructure installed at Bermagui, Round Hill, Moruya and Dr George Mountain to eliminate blackspots on the coastline, as well as new digital radio fit-outs in the Marine Rescue Batemans Bay and Bermagui radio bases.

Monaro Marine Rescue Regional Operations Manager Glenn Sullivan said the communications objectives worked out exactly as planned.

He was confident boat operators would be heard on radio channel 16 VHF leading into the summer, with the Monaro region's black spots now covered.

At the weekend, rescues were completed between the Tollgate Islands, Batemans Bay, to Durras, and Goland Head, near Bermagui.

Crews rescued three mannequins from the water in the Bermagui area, and four mannequins at Batemans Bay, including from rocks and land.

A Westpac Life Saver rescue helicopter practised winching exercises.

He said inland Marine Rescue units may not have been used to the ocean swells but they had a ball all weekend.

Members were able to practise their observation techniques and tick off tasks to move up the ranks.

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