Flares Firefighting and Sea survival

On Saturday 20th May our members that are on the way to obtaining their competent crew rating met at the Point Clare base for their firefighting and flare training theory and practical. This was thanks to our Deputy Unit Commander Geoff Hawes, and the Marine Rescue Newcastle Deputy Unit Commander Ian Morrow. This was a great learning experience for the members that participated.

As we had pre planned to let some flares off for the practical we had advised Brisbane Water LAC, Marine Area Command and also AMSA

The duty crew took the time to do their 6 monthly marine drills, which also included a refresher on the defibrillator and oxygen therapy use. Later in the day at around 4:45pm the duty radio operators received a call from the skipper of a Bayliner, the skipper advised that his vessel had broken down in Paddy’s channel and requested a tow to Lions Park. The duty crew were soon on their way, and returned to the Point Clare base after dark.

On Sunday the members that are progressing to their crew rating headed down to the Peninsula Leisure Centre at Woy Woy for their Sea Survival practical training.

Back at the Point Clare base the boat crews decided to go on a patrol to Broken Bay, on the way they had a look at the new channel markers between Lobster Beach and Little Box Head.


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National Volunteer Week


Save the date! National Volunteer Week, 8–14 May 2017

National Volunteer Week (NVW) is an annual celebration to acknowledge the generous contribution of our nation’s volunteers.

From 8–14 May 2017 thousands of events across the country will be held to say thank you to the 6 million Australians who volunteer including breakfasts, morning/afternoon teas, and luncheons as well as open days, award ceremonies, picnics, forums and training sessions.

Research shows volunteers live happier and healthier lives. Pledge to volunteer this National Volunteer Week join the 6 million Australians helping make Australia the happiest place on Earth.

see https://www.volunteeringaustralia.org/nvw/ for more info

In Shore (Basic) Navigation Course

Marine Rescue’s Navigation Course is intended to assist those who wish to cruise recreational craft to obtain the necessary skills to do so.

Who should attend?

Those persons who wish to improve their knowledge and obtain the skills required to navigate a vessel safely within a waterway or on a coastal voyage.

Course Admission:There are no prerequisites for Basic Navigation.

Learning Outcomes:

Attendance at this course will enable participants to:

describe the types of charts and the terms and symbols used.
demonstrate an understanding of horizontal and vertical sextant angles and how to plot positions..
demonstrate an ability to plot running fixes.
Resolve speed, distance and time by formulae.
demonstrate an ability to use basic navigation instruments.
predict the height of tides between high and low water.
demonstrate an understanding of electronic instruments used as an aid to navigation..
Course Duration:

The Basic Navigation course is conducted over a period of 8 weeks consisting of two hour theory on Thursday nights commencing at 7.00 pm and some short practical sessions on one day on a few weekends.

Course fees:

Basic Navigation-
General Public $110.00
MRSS Member* $99.00

General Notes:

Progressive assessments are conducted throughout the course.

Students must supply their own drawing instruments and charts, including but not limited to a Douglas protractor, marine dividers, compass, parallel rule or roller rule, some soft lead 2B pencils, a pencil sharpener and eraser. The Naval Charts required are Aus 197, 5011. Some practice charts (5121 and 5169A) may be provided on loan.

Call between 6am and 6pm on 4325 7929 to book your spot.


No April Fools

On Saturday 1st April, the radio operators were kept busy in the Point Clare radio room. During the morning there were around 9 ‘transit’ logons of vessels heading north to Newcastle for a yacht race from Newcastle to Port Stephens.

At around 1640 the radio operators received a call from the skipper of a Bayliner. The skipper reported that he had a flat battery and requested a jump start, the vessel was at Wagstaffe and was needing to head to Blackwall channel.

Skipper Al Howes and his crew Peter Fischer, Karl Leipa and Duncan Coles were soon on their way on board CC21. The crew found the vessel and gave them a jump start, the skipper and the 8 people on board the vessel in distress were quite relieved. CC21 returned to the Point Clare base arriving back at around 1730, which gave the crew plenty of time to close the boat and leave the base at 1800 (on time).

Sunday the 2nd April started early for the duty boat crew, with most members arriving early possibly due to daylight savings ending. At around 0555 the radio operators received a phone call from the skipper of a yacht that had taken refuge at Patonga overnight. It was reported that the skipper of the yacht had been on the deck during the evening and taken a fall, he believed that he may have cracked some ribs in the process.

CC21 was tasked for the job with Jim Robertson in command, Paul Hanlon and Peter Fischer as his crew, they were soon headed to Patonga in what they thought would be a medivac situation. Once CC21 arrived on scene they found out that there were four people in total on board the yacht. The gentleman that had called for assistance as well as his daughter (who has had experience in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race) and her two daughters.

The skipper of the yacht advised the crew on board CC21 that he would appreciate a tow back to Booker Bay. CC21 attached the towline and commenced the slow tow back to Booker Bay, the crew had a 2 – 3m swell running a beam of them which made for a slow and not so comfortable ride through Broken Bay.


The slow and rough ride back for both vessels

Whilst the crew of CC21 were towing the yacht back to Booker Bay, CC22 with Al Howes Skipper, Karl Leipa and Garry Owens as crew were tasked with towing a 6m tinny off the mud in Paddy’s channel which they successfully completed then returned to base. The crew on board CC21 were very relieved once arriving back to base at 1230 (just in time to sit down to a well earnt lunch

VHF Marine Radio Licence Course

Crews Kept Busy During 40 Degree Heat

On Saturday 11th February the duty crew at Marine Rescue Central Coast were kept busy. During the morning the duty crew did some urgent maintenance work on the slip way at the Point Clare Base. Whilst the maintenance work was being carried out the radio operators received a phone call from the skipper of a 5m runabout with 2 people on board that had a flat battery and mechanical issues at Orange Grove, the skipper requested a tow to Lions Park ramp.

Rescue Vessel Central Coast 21 was tasked to assist and was soon on the way to assist with skipper Peter Alderton and Bob Knowles as his crew. Not long after the call the crew reached the vessel and commenced the tow back to Lions Park. Before CC21 reached Lions Park another call was received by our radio operators, from the skipper of a 30ft catamaran with two people on board, the vessel had become becalmed, and they had issues with the auxiliary motor.

Once the crew completed the tow to Lions Park, they headed to the catamaran that was at Blackwall and commenced the tow to Gosford. Once the tow was complete the crew made their way back to the base for some lunch, and some well-deserved down time in the comfort of the air conditioned base.

After lunch Rescue Vessel Central Coast 22 was sent on a patrol with skipper Ken Sharp and his crew Ted Leeson on board. Whilst patrolling they were flagged down at Ettalong Beach by a Personal Watercraft operator, he was having some engine difficulties and requested a tow to Saratoga. Given the weather conditions on Saturday the crew transferred the two people on board the PWC onto the rescue vessel. The tow took about an hour to complete as when towing a jet ski it’s recommended not to exceed 6 knots as any faster can ruin the PWC’s motor.

As the duty crew were getting ready to close the base on Saturday afternoon the radio operators received a radio call from Marine Rescue Hawkesbury who had been speaking with the skipper of 10.8m ex fishing trawler who had 4 people on board and was experiencing engine problems off Whale Beach.

Rescue Vessel Cottage Point 30 overheard the transmission and advised that they were the nearest vessel and now heading towards Whale Beach, they requested that a Central Coast vessel rendezvous at Little Box Head where the Central Coast crew could take over the tow.

CC21 was tasked to rendezvous and headed out at 6:15pm with Norm Smith as skipper and Ted Leeson and Bob Knowles as his crew. CC21 took over the tow just before 7pm and slowly headed to the vessels mooring at Green Point. At around 8:25pm the vessel was back on it’s mooring and the crew of CC21 were making their way back to the base. At around 9pm the hot and exhausted boat crew and radio operators were able to make their way back home.

Sunday only saw one job which was for a 24ft cruiser with 2 people on board that was having engine problems. Broken Bay 20 had started the tow from America Bay and they requested that a Central Coast vessel meet them to take the stricken cruiser to Davistown.

Central Coast 22 was tasked to assist with Ken Sharp as skipper, Norm Smith and Bob Knowles as his crew. CC22 met with BB20 behind Lion Island and took over the tow back to Davistown.



Photo: Marine Rescue Crew Bob Knowles keeping check on the towline on Central Coast 21 with the 5m runabout in tow to Lions Park.


Hot and Busy Weekend for Marine rescue

On Saturday 4th February rescue vessel Central Coast 22 was patrolling Brisbane Waters when they were flagged down by the skipper of a small tinny at Wagstaffe. The skipper was having some mechanical issues and requested a tow to Blackwall ramp. The tow was completed and the crew of CC22 continued their patrol and returned to base.

At around 5:45pm a PWC operator called the base to report that he was having mechanical issues and needed assistance to get from Ettalong Beach to Booker Bay Marina. Central Coast 21 was tasked to assist and were soon on their way.  When CC21 reached Ettalong Beach they soon found the PWC and attached the tow line and towed the jetski to Booker Bay Marina, arriving just after 7pm. The crew and radio operators were then able to close the base and were on their way home by 8pm.

On Sunday 5th February, in extremely hot conditions, Cottage Point 30 received a call to assist a 24ft Whittley in difficulty at Coal and Candle Creek with 2 adults and 6 children on board. The skipper advised that he needed a tow back to Lintern St wharf at Davistown. As a safety precaution the Cottage Point crew made the call to take 1 adult and all 6 children on board the rescue vessel.

Central Coast 21 was tasked to take over the tow at Little Box Head. The 6 children and 1 adult were transferred from CP30 to CC21, and the tow transferred. A very slow and hot job for our volunteers who were glad to return to the air conditioned base at Point Clare.

Australia Day Rescue

Australia Day Rescue

At about 2pm on Australia Day afternoon, Marine Rescue Central Coast radio operators received a phone call from the skipper of a 5.5m centre console with a flat battery. The skipper who was anchored off West Head with 5 people on board requested a jump start.

Rescue vessel Central Coast 21 with Skipper Norm Smith and his crew, Ken Sharp, Ted Leeson and Robert M Smith were soon on their way.

It was a steady trip through Broken Bay with a 2.5m swell, CC21 soon had the centre console in their sights and thankfully the skipper had deployed his V Sheet to make the search much easier. The crew of CC21 attempted to jump start the stricken vessel however the engine would not kick over.

The crew on board CC21 quickly set up a tow and started the slow journey back to Pretty Beach boat ramp, arriving at the ramp at roughly 4:20pm.

A big thank you to our radio operators and boat crews for giving up their time to serve our local community.

And remember if you’re heading out on the water check your safety gear and log on and off with you local Marine Rescue NSW Unit

Many calls for help on weekend

Karl Liepa aboard Central Coast CC022 with ski-boat in tow

Karl Liepa aboard Central Coast CC022 with ski-boat in tow

The volunteers on duty at Marine Rescue Central were kept busy over the weekend of 7 and 8 January 2017.  On Saturday around noon Duty radio operator, Alan Mott, received a call from the skipper of a 6.0m scarab at The Rip with four people onboard. The vessel reported mechanical problems and requested help to return to the launching ramp at Lions Park Woy Woy. Rescue vessel Central Coast CC021 under command of Al Morris was tasked to assist and soon had the vessel in tow to safety.

Around 12:30pm, a call was received from a 6.5m cruiser with two people onboard 10nm east of Macmasters Beach. The vessel reported engine failure and requested help to return to Brisbane Water. Rescue Vessel Broken Bay 30 was tasked to assist by the Water Police Marine Area Command. Central Coast CC022 under command of Alan Howes, met BB30 at Iron Ladder Beach to take over and complete the tow to safety.

Alan Mott received another call for assistance just before 2:00pm. The owner of a 6.0m runabout at Blackwall reported that his engine had been swamped by the wash of a passing large motor cruiser. He sought help to return his mooring in the Lintern Channel. Al Morris and his crew on Rescue vessel Central Coast CC021 located the vessel and undertook the tow.

On Sunday 8 January, duty radio operator Shea Wicks received at call for assistance from the people onboard a 4.86m runabout broken down off Tallow Beach. Rescue vessel Central Coast CC022 under command of Alan Howes, responded towed the runabout to Lions Park Woy Woy.

Shea received another call for help around 11:45am from one of two people onboard a 4.2m runabout at Lobster Beach reported as having a mechanical problem. Al Howes and his crew on Central Coast CC022 were sent to assist. The vessel was towed to the ramp at Koolewong.

Around 3:30pm, Jim Cleverly took a call from one of four people onboard a 5.0m Haines Hunter near the entrance to Hardy’s Bay. The man reported a mechanical problem and asked for help getting the boat to Empire Bay Marina. Al Morris and his crew aboard Central Coast CC021 were sent to assist and towed the vessel to safety.

A busy weekend for the volunteer crews from Marine Rescue keeping our boating community safe.

Boxing Day Rescues

Marine Rescue crew, George Kowalski, keeping check of the towline on Central Coast 22, with the 4.5m runabout in tow to Gosford Boat Ramp

Marine Rescue crew, George Kowalski, keeping check of the towline on Central Coast 22, with the 4.5m runabout in tow to Gosford Boat Ramp

The volunteers on duty at Marine Rescue Central on Boxing Day, 26 December 2016 were contacted by the owner of a 4.5m runabout around 10:30am. He said his vessel, with six people on board, was west of Saratoga near the oyster leases and that he had an engine problem. Duty Skipper, Bren Weston and his crew Max Landells and George Kowalski aboard rescue vessel, Central Coast 22, responded and soon had the boat in tow. As they approached Gosford Boat Ramp the rescue boat and the boat in tow were harassed by Personal Water Craft endangering the safety of those in the towed boat and making berthing very difficult.

Around1 :45pm John Jarvey and crew Bruce Lorking, Peter Fischer and Malcolm Sinclair aboard rescue vessel Central Coast 21 were sent to the entrance to Cockle Broadwater at Kincumber South to assist a 7.5m Bayliner Motor Cruiser that requested help due to a mechanical problem. The tow to a private mooring adjacent to Ettalong wharf proved to be quite demanding due to the narrow channels, falling tide and gusty 20 knot N/East wind. The two people on board expressed their gratitude for the assistance provided by the volunteers who gave up family time to assist the boating community.