Ballina Jet Boat Rescues Stranded Yacht

BALLINA Jet Boat Rescue Service has been busy leading the recovery of True Bluess, the single-masted 23ft yacht that washed up on Byron Bay's Main Beach on Wednesday 22nd May.

The vessel's owners had been given 72 hours to get it off the beach and co-owner Matty Sandell said the plan had been to refloat it at high tide, at 7pm on Thursday 23rd.

However, that plan was strongly discouraged by local Lifeguards and at the request of Roads and Maritime NSW and Sandell, the Ballina Jet Boat Rescue Service was called in to help.

With the assistance of Byron Bay SLSC volunteers the Jet Boat was able to get close enough to shore for the crew to tie a rope around the yacht’s mast and pull it to safety. The boat was able to achieve this in the quickly dying light with the use of a Forward Looking Infra-Red (FLIR) camera which uses heat signals to see in the dark.

Jet Boat Rescue Service Crewman, Garry Meredith, said the operation went off without a hitch.

“We needed to get really close to shore and being a jet boat it allowed this to happen. With the support of Byron Bay SLSC we ended up pulling it off the beach without any issues. Very happy with the result,” said Meredith.

The mission caps off a busy month for the service with the crew having to rescue a number of people who had capsized their boats in dangerous conditions across the Far North Coast of NSW.

“It’s been a really flat out month for the service and together with Marine Rescue we've got an important role to play as a rescue service in the region,” said Meredith.

Currently, True Bluess is safely at anchor in the Bay.

Fri 24 May 2013