The second delivery from a four-year NSW Government rescue funding enhancement will see each Surf Life Saving NSW Branch receive a brand-new jet ski to assist volunteers ahead of what is anticipated to be a bumper summer season.

Rescue Water Craft (RWCs) provide operational versatility to our lifesavers in red and yellow, with the capacity to reach people in trouble near difficult to access and often treacherous locations that larger vessels simply cannot such as near rock platforms.

The ability of the jetski to respond quickly, its heightened manoeuvrability and the experienced personnel who operate them – all of whom have undertaken extensive training – make RWCs a valued vessel in SLSNSW’s Support Operations fleet and ensure they are an important aspect of coastal patrols all the way to more serious situations such as search and rescue missions.

Over the past two years, RWCs have been involved in 704 rescues and 271 emergency call outs. In the same period, they have spent nearly 23,000 hours on the water keeping beachgoers safe.

“Overall, SLSNSW’s core mission is to save lives, create great Australians and build better communities. The delivery of a fleet of new RWCs to our Branches helps us deliver on our mission,” SLSNSW President, George Shales OAM said.

“In providing state-of-the-art Support Operations equipment and vessels to our Branches, we increase our capacity to save lives and, indeed, build better communities.

“We look forward to seeing these fantastic new rescue craft on the water this summer as our volunteer lifesavers from all 129 clubs patrol beaches along the NSW coastline.”

RWCs are regularly involved in high-pressure rescue situations up and down the coast. In September, a major incident involving a rock fisherman at Charlotte Head on the state’s lower north coast ended positively when an RWC was launched from nearby Pacific Palms SLSC and navigated significant swell and a narrow cove to retrieve two men in their 20s who had fallen into the ocean.

The speed of response, agility and ability to get close to rock platforms are some of the craft’s lifesaving benefits.

In keeping with SLSNSW’s goal of providing volunteers with the best equipment available, the 11 vessels about to go into service are Sea-Doo model craft by BRP – one of the most reliable watercraft manufacturers in the market and a national partner of Surf Life Saving.

Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience, Steph Cooke said the RWCs will enhance the ability of lifesavers to respond to emergencies.

“These jet skis will give our lifesavers the ability to get to people in trouble in the water quickly, and also allow them to reach those in treacherous locations like off rock platforms,” she said.

“Our 20,000 lifesavers are better prepared than ever before and are ready for a big summer, but safety is a shared responsibility so I’m respectfully asking beachgoers to follow advice, avoid  unnecessary risks and swim between the flags.”

Wednesday 16 November 2022