14 February 2019
EMV’s Marine Search and Rescue (MSAR) team has hit the ground running in 2019, providing crucial training for its volunteers, supervising the building of five new emergency vessels, and creating a new alert, dispatch, and communications system in conjunction with Victoria Police.
Construction has now begun for three purpose-built vessels, with a further two starting in February. MSAR Manager Wes Oswin checked on the build progress in January for the first three, and was pleased to see they are on track for completion by early September.
Port Fairy Marine Rescue Service, Australian Volunteer Coast Guard (AVCG) St Kilda, and AVCG Frankston are eagerly awaiting the first three new vessels and their accompanying training.
The MSAR team, in conjunction with the Office of the Chief Procurement Officer, is also in the process of finalising the tender for the Category 4 MSAR vessels.
Training is a priority for MSAR, and Doug King, MSAR Senior Training Officer, has been busy travelling around the state conducting further training to crews for the busy boating season. He has recently been with the team at Apollo Bay Ocean Rescue, offering more training to move them from their 7.6m Stabicraft to their new, larger vessel. At 11.9m, it is significantly bigger, so they are undertaking new, specialised training to work toward officially putting the new vessel into service.
MSAR is also working collaboratively with a range of other emergency agencies, and a three-day multi-agency training exercise this month saw unit volunteers travelling from across the state to Mallacoota. The exercise involved Water Police, CFA, VICSES, Ambulance Victoria, and MSAR Units all working together to sharpen their skills and test their search and rescue capabilities. Training covered an on-water search and rescue operation, planning and briefing skills, use of communications systems, and interaction with other agencies to test compatibility of procedures and systems.
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