The construction of a new $400,000 rescue vessel for Marine Rescue Tuross Head has reached another important milestone, with the completion of the welding stage, the group says.
"The progress is a shot in the arm for the volunteers from the Tuross unit, whose current vessel is still undergoing repairs after being vandalised last month," a Marine Rescue spokesperson said.
Marine Rescue NSW Fleet Manager Kelvin Parkin said the 7.5 metre Ocean Cylinder vessel, being built in northern NSW by Yamba Welding and Engineering, was now entering an exciting new phase in its construction.
"With the welding completed, it has now taken shape and is being prepared for acid washing, followed by the installation of service cabling, fit-out and electrical installation," he said.
"Everything is on track for delivery before Christmas, in time for the busy holiday boating period.
"The boat is a valuable investment in the safety of our volunteers and the boating community."
Tuross 20 is one of 38 new rescue vessels funded by a $37.6 million four-year State Government investment to support the vital, life-saving work of Marine Rescue NSW volunteers.
Mr Parkin said the new vessel was a significant upgrade over the unit's current boat, improving the unit's search capability and supporting crew comfort and endurance, which in turn boosted boating safety for the Eurobodalla region.
"Features such as radar, a thermal imaging camera and shock mitigating seating will help our volunteers to search as far as 15 nautical miles out to sea and to stay on the water longer and in a wider range of weather and sea conditions," he said.
"After a tough year for the Eurobodalla community, this new Marine Rescue vessel will be the perfect Christmas present for the region's many local and visiting boaters."
The current Marine Rescue Tuross rescue vessel is expected to be back on the water in coming weeks, fitted with a new windscreen, after vandals hurled a rock through its windscreen while it was on the Preddys Wharf at Moruya.