Surf Life Saving Far North Coast held the official opening of their new rescue facility at Hickey Island, Yamba, on Saturday afternoon.
Original discussions regarding the need for a Rescue Support Service in Yamba, took place back in 2012.
The meeting involved founding members of the Yamba Surf Life Saving Club and Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) Far North Coast Branch manager Bill Onslow along with Tony McFarlane, Andrew Cumberland and Andrew Morris.
An old fishing shed on Hickey Island was found, however it was in a serious state of decay.
This started a process of meetings, planning and obtaining the appropriate approvals and grants.
A grant from the NSW government – Community Building Partnership, for $23,584 was obtained, however there was still a huge short fall, with the cost running out at over $100,000.
A slipway and floating pontoon were added with the pontoon alone, costing over $25,000.
The refurbished shed houses a jet ski which will assist in white water rescues.
FNC branch Life Member, Bill Onslow said that it will enable the crew to get to the bar (at the entrance to the Clarence River) in five minutes, from the Hickey Island location.
“We have marine rescue here, but white water rescues can’t be done by them,” he said.
Andrew Morris from Yamba SLSFNC gave a project overview during the official opening, saying that the local tradies who helped out on the project, never let us down.
“By supplying the materials and giving of their valuable time free of charge it enabled us to get this project, where it is today,” he said.
Mr Morris went on to thank the Clarence community, fellow Yamba support crew members, Birrigan Gargle Aboriginal Land Council and the NSW government.