Shoalhaven News

New rescue watercraft handed over to Surf Life Saving South Coast

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A new surf rescue watercraft has been formally handed over to the South Coast Branch of Surf Life Saving by South Coast MP Shelley Hancock and Kiama MP Gareth Ward.

It's one of eleven such new rescue watercraft which have been provided to different clubs around the state.

President of the South Coast Branch Steve Jones says the rescue craft is valued at more than $22,000 and will be used between Shoalhaven Heads to Currarong and inside Jervis Bay.

"This is a 3 seater Sea-doo, 155hp motor in it and it has a large floatable sled attached to the back for carrying either a patient or an additional rescued person", Mr Jones said.

Member for South Coast Shelley Hancock and Member for Kiama Gareth Ward today joined with representatives of South Coast Surf Life Saving to receive the new jet-ski which will be allocated to the Nowra-Culburra Surf Life Saving Branch.

Mrs Hancock said the new jet-ski – equipped with a rescue sled – will be deployed this summer thanks to $220,000 in NSW Government funding.

“The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is delivering record investments in frontline services.

Whether it is our emergency services or the surf lifesavers who patrol our beaches, we are giving them the funding and the very best equipment they need to keep all of us safe,” Mrs Hancock said.

“Surf Life Saving NSW and our emergency services are working hard to prevent drownings this summer and the new jet-ski will play a key role in preventing more tragedies.

“Our lifesavers do a great job keeping swimmers safe across our spectacular beaches each year – and I’m confident this new equipment will only further support those incredible efforts.”

Member for Kiama Gareth Ward said Surf Life Saving NSW will make the operational decisions as to where along our coastline it will be needed most.

“SLS NSW began trialing the use of jet skis back in 2002, and they’ve proven to be a great success and been pivotal to thousands of rescues over the years.

“I thank all of our local Surf Life Saving volunteers and clubs for keeping us safe on our beaches and in the water over what will be a busy summer period,” Mr Ward said.

Photo: Office of Gareth Ward