8 September 2015
The Volunteer Marine Rescue squadron in Cowell has a new vessel – the Sea Viper.
The new vessel was commissioned at a ceremony held in Cowell on Saturday.
The State Government has invested $286,000 to build the purpose-built seven-and-a-half metre aluminium rescue vessel, which is fitted with the latest in electronics and safety features.
It was designed in Adelaide by OceanTech Marine, and built locally by Cowell Fabrication, providing support for the local economy.
Powered by a 315 horse power inboard Diesel engine, the Sea Viper has a response range of 200 nautical miles and can accommodate four crew and passengers.
It replaces the Ocean Spirit, which was coincidentally the first vessel funded from the Community Emergency Services Fund about 15 years ago.
Manager of Volunteer Marine Rescue Darryl Wright said that the new vessel would not only enhance the marine rescue capability in the local area and the Eyre Peninsula but also support search and rescue operations in other parts of the State.
"It's important that the volunteers have the equipment and resources that enable them to safely and efficiently carry out their valuable role. It is assets like these achieve that and provide a positive impact on the retention of volunteers and help to recruit others," Mr Wright said.
In addition to the new rescue boat, the squadron also received $74,500 from the Community Emergency Services Fund towards a new tow vehicle.
Commodore of the Cowell Sea Rescue Squadron Garry Lum said that members were very pleased to officially bring the new boat into service, providing a safety blanket over mariners that use local waters.
"The Sea Viper is able respond to a variety of situations and conditions. We were also very pleased that the name came from a competition held for local students and was selected by members." Mr Lum said.