The latest addition to the Marine Rescue NSW fleet has been unveiled at Evans Head, delivering better protection for Northern NSW coastal communities.
Nationals Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience Steph Cooke said the $556,000 ‘Evans Head 31’ is one of 38 new vessels delivered through a $37.6 million investment by the NSW Nationals in the state government.
“With powerful Suzuki engines, specialist Raymarine navigation equipment, radar, sonar and night vision capability, this 10-metre vessel has the speed and technology our volunteers need to undertake rescues and save lives in situations where every second counts,” Ms Cooke said.
Nationals Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis said ‘Evans Head 31’ is a valuable investment in the safety of the area’s boating community and its many visitors.
“Evans Head is in an enviable position on the North Coast with access to both inland and offshore waters, and our boaters can rest a little easier knowing that this state-of-the-art vessel is ready should they run into trouble,” Mr Gulaptis said.
Marine Rescue NSW Deputy Commissioner Alex Barrell said the vessel has been custom-designed and built to meet demanding local operating conditions.
“As well as operating on the river, the boat can quickly deploy up to 30 nautical miles out to sea to rescue boaters who find themselves in trouble,” Deputy Commissioner Barrell said.
Commander of the Marine Rescue NSW Evans Head Unit, Greg Blackburn, thanked the local community for its generous support of the Unit’s fundraising efforts to contribute 20 per cent of the cost of the new vessel.
“The new vessel is a significant improvement over our Unit’s former boat. With improved handling and manoeuvrability and greater volunteer comfort, our crews are able to operate more safely for longer periods and in a wider range of weather and sea conditions,” Mr Blackburn said.
‘Evans Head 31’ has been named after Heather Stacey, who has been a volunteer with the Evans Head Unit for more than 27 years and is a respected member of the local community.