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Plea to radio in locations

12 December 2013

The following was reported in the Whyalla News

Following a boat user's lucky escape when his boat capsized during a recent storm, the Whyalla Sea Rescue Squadron is appealing to all boaties to radio in their location each time they head out.

Watching the seas from 8am to 4pm everyday, the Whyalla Sea Rescue Squadron is a voluntary organisation put in place to monitor boat and people's safety, provide radio communication, conduct rescue operations and retrieve vessels.

Squadron commodore Bruce Coulter said while the headquarters at the marina were only manned throughout the daytime, three home bases monitored radio calls during evening hours.

"There's signage at the end of the boat ramp," Mr Coulter said.

Help was also always available by ringing their number 8644 0414.

"The number is administrated 24 hours, seven days a week," Mr Coulter said.

Mr Coulter said the UHF channels 16 and 67 were also monitored during day hours by SA Sea Rescue and after hours by Flinders Ports.

"So there's 24 hours coverage," Mr Coulter said.

Mr Coulter said last Friday's incident was a timely reminder that all boat users should be registering their intended location with the squadron before setting out.

The rescue boat located in the marina is always ready to go with a pontoon launching system that can see the boat deployed in four minutes.

Each month the squadron receives one to two call outs to tow back boats with general breakdowns or flat batteries.

Mr Coulter said the service is funded by the emergency services levy which everyone pays so the community should utilise this public service.

The organisation also conducts flare demonstrations and works with SAPOL for rescue operations.

The group is always looking for new members to volunteer their time to monitor the radios and keep a look out during the day as the average age of current members is 60.

Women are more than welcome and anyone interested in joining should phone 8644 0414.

More information on marine radio in South Australia is available at sa.gov.au/boatingmarine

sea rescue squadron