Volunteer members of Marine Rescue Central Coast gave up precious family time over the holiday weekend to be available to assist those in trouble on our local waterways.
Around midday on Boxing Day, rescue vessel Central Coast 21 responded to a call from a 4.0m runabout with two people on board. The outboard had failed and the vessel was towed from Hardy’s Bay to Pretty Beach ramp.
Shortly after that, at about 1:00pm, the duty crew in the Radio Room at Point Clare base, Bob Knowles and Robert Smith received a frantic phone call from a Dive Boat. Four persons had made a dive on the Birkenhead wreck off Bilgola and one of the divers was missing. Water Police were notified and the dive boat was asked to activate its EPIRB to verify its exact location. Central Coast 21 was tasked to assist and headed out at full speed, under the command of Skipper Ted Leeson, assisted by Phil Page and Peter Ashworth. Police arranged helicopter assistance and a rubber duck was also deployed from the local surf club. When the rescue vessel arrived, they were advised that the diver had been recovered safely.
Later that afternoon Central Coast 21 was sent to Pretty Beach to investigate a report of a yacht aground. The crew, Norm Smith, Ken Sharp and Mitch Giles, found a 13.5m ketch with three aboard firmly aground on a falling tide. The marine rescue crew dropped the yachts anchor in deep water in the channel to enable those on board to kedge themselves off on the high tide.
On Sunday December 27, around 7:00am the volunteers received a call from a local resident about a 9:0mm yacht aground in Caroline Bay. Central Coast 22 was sent to investigate and found a yacht with a broken mooring stranded on the mud. The yacht was taken in tow and placed on an emergency mooring at Point Clare.
Just before 6:00pm the Point Clare Base received a phone call from a local resident about a capsized sailing dinghy on the Broadwater off Tascott. Norm Smith and his crew on rescue vessel Central Coast 22 rushed to the area and found a man struggling with a capsized 3.5m dinghy. The man and his dinghy were towed to the jetty at Koolewong.
As Central Coast 22 was returning to base the crew were instructed to assist a 9.0m Mustang Motor Cruiser drifting on Brisbane Water. The three people on board indicated that the vessel had mechanical failure and asked to be towed to a mooring at Gosford Sailing Club.
The Marine Rescue volunteers finally closed the base at 7:25pm and were able to return home to family and friends.