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A Safety Message From A Survivor

Updated: Jun 11, 2021

April has been an extremely busy month with over ten incidents with five occurring over the ANZAC long weekend holiday. The bulk of the incidents involved boaties who had not logged on with our Group making our task of organizing rescues more involved than it would have been had our free services for lodging their boating plans been used. Running out of fuel, flat batteries, overdue boats were common and are all preventable.

On Saturday, 24 April Jeremy Carter (J394) and his family pulled a lady from the water about 7 kms from Jurien after she and her father were thrown overboard without life jackets. Sadly, her father could not be saved. We would like to thank the efforts of Jeremy and his Family, Peter Holland (“Oceanic Experience”), Kevin Eyden, (“Tahlia”), Bruce McWillie (J10), Dennis Clarke (J315), Ray Worrall (Department of Fisheries), Jurien St John Ambulance, Leeman and Jurien Bay Police and our Skipper, Crew and radio operators, Mike, Wayne, Mick, Chris, Graham, Connie and Carla. The following is Arna’s thank you note:

“Myself and my family can never thank you enough - there are literally not enough words to express our gratitude for what you did to retrieve my father’s body on Saturday after we were thrown overboard by a King Wave. Your efforts together with my rescuers Bec & Jeremy Carter and their amazing boys who thought I was a seal made it possible to bring Dad’s body home. Your ability to do this for my family has given us much peace at an extremely difficult time in our lives that without this would have been infinitely harder. My Dad has been on the sea his entire life, the shock at what happened I don’t think he could comprehend – like so many others we had life jackets on board but where not wearing them – if I could turn back time and be wearing them I so feel we would still have him with us. Thank you again, you are an amazing team and don’t ever underestimate the important role you play – you are heroes and we owe you forever.”

Monday, 26 April involved four incidents which were handled expertly by our radio operator Carla and crew Mike, Wayne and Mick. These involved tow ins, out of fuel and an overdue boat. The following day a flare sighting was reported off Favourite Island at 2117 hours. The Department of Fisheries vessel assisted our Group in the search and again, a big thank you to Ray Worrall, Mike and Chrissy. The search was called off at 0100 the following morning.

We ask all boaties to take care on the ocean by:

  • Doing regular maintenance checks on your boat – follow the Department of Transport’s BEST check list.

  • Ensure you wear a lanyard attached to your wrist or body which is connected to the boat’s kill switch (if you are thrown overboard this will stop your engine).

  • Wear your life jacket! It can save your life.

  • Check the marine weather report and ensure you and your boat are suited to the prevailing conditions. Are warnings current for your boating area? Are there weather conditions affecting safe navigation and comfort? What are the wind trends? What are the wave conditions? When is the next high and low tide?

  • Be aware that wind gusts can be 40% stronger and maximum waves may be twice the height of what is forecast.

  • Ensure you have the required safety equipment (life jackets, flares, EPIRB) for the area you intend to go.

  • Ensure you have sufficient fuel. Aim to carry 50 percent more fuel than you expect to use.

  • Put a reminder in your phone 30 minutes prior to your estimated time of return so that you won’t become an “Overdue Boat”. You can always extend your time of return.

Our Group monitors the radios 24 hours a day / 7 days a week (either at the Tower or through home bases). Stay safe out there on the ocean. Take 30 seconds and LOG ON WITH US. It is free! Not only does it provide you with peace of mind, but also your Family and loved ones will know that you are being looked after. Most importantly it will allow us to locate you quickly should an emergency arise. No radio? Ring us on 96521950.

Our working channel is VHF 21.Emergency channels are VHF 16, 27.88 MHz and 4125 HF.

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