It was an auspicious occasion for the 40 or so volunteer members of Iluka-Yamba Marine Rescue on Thursday October 31, when the fruits of their labour were rewarded in the shape of a new boat, the Iluka-Yamba 20.
Marine rescue volunteers raised about $40,000 towards the $175,000 vessel, the Australian Government contributed $10,000 and the NSW Government provided the balance.
Iluka-Yamba Marine Rescue Radio operator Jeff Clout put it this way: “A lot of people have worked very hard for that boat … raffling, selling tickets, monthly barbecues; we must have sold over 100,000 sausages, bacon rashers and eggs at the monthly market in Iluka.”
While the boat has been in service since February, it was officially commissioned by NSW Emergency Services Minister David Elliott and Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos.
The boat is an ‘Ocean Cylinder’ design constructed by Yamba Welding & Engineering.
Mr Elliott said the boat “will provide volunteer rescue crews with a modern vessel to use in terms of emergency for marine and rescue operations”.
“These skilled men and women of Marine Rescue NSW are dedicated to helping boaters stay safe on our waterways,” he said.
“It is an essential mission in a coastal community renowned for boating and water activities and I thank them for their community service.”
He said the boat was one of 90 new and refurbished vessels (valued at more than $21million) funded by the government’s Marine Rescue NSW Fleet Modernisation Program.
Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis said he was “thrilled” that the “5.45 metre Ocean Cylinder vessel had been built locally”.
“It’s a win-win for local jobs and the safety of the boating community,” he said.
Mr Elliott also presented Elaine Pyke with her 25-year National Service Medal clasp for distinguished service to Marine Rescue NSW.