It has already been an intense year for Lake Macquarie Marine Rescue despite wetter than average weather, but it’s about to get a whole lot busier as we hit the warmer months.
From January to August alone volunteers out of Swansea Heads dealt with a total 395 calls for help, about half of those needing to be towed back to safety.
While engine troubles, flat batteries and running out of fuel made up the bulk of the call-outs, there were more serious incidents as well which left the lives of 42 people in danger.
Fifty boats ran aground, ten vessels sank or capsized, and February and July both saw a person go overboard.
20,665 radio and telephone calls were handled by the Swansea Heads base, that’s a number Garry Luxton from Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie expects will only increase before the year is out.
“This figure will rise as the warmer weather continues and people hit the water for some long overdue recreation and relaxation,” he said.
Mr Luxton is urging local boaties to check their vessels and safety equipment before heading out onto the water, ensure that there are enough life jackets for everyone onboard, and advise Marine Rescue of any plans.
“Our volunteer radio operators are on duty 24/7 so make sure you log on with us and let us know when you are returning so that we know that you are safe,” he said.