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TasPorts grants help keep our waters safe

Three volunteer marine rescue organisations – Tamar Sea Rescue, Volunteer Marine Rescue Kingborough and Dodges Ferry Marine Rescue – have received TasPorts grants to upgrade critical safety gear.

Operated solely by volunteers, these marine rescue services in Tasmania have very limited access to funding outside of the basic necessities.

Tamar Sea Rescue, in the state’s north, desperately needed to replace the seating on its larger vessel if it was going to continue undertaking longer rescue missions.

The grant from TasPorts enabled the organisation to purchase two new Shark Flex Ultra Plus seats.

“The timing was absolutely perfect,” Tamar Sea Rescue operations manager Matthew O’Neil said.

“We had identified after a large rescue in January that we really needed to do something about our seating if we were going to continue at this level.

“Our existing seats were on a solid alloy pedestal with one inch of soft material, meaning our volunteers were taking every hit the boat was receiving.

“The new hi-tech seat design reduces fatigue and injury for those on the board, making the job of our volunteers so much safer.”

Mr O’Neil said the not- for-profit organisation couldn’t be more grateful to TasPorts.

“TasPorts have always been massive supporters of Tamar Sea Rescue and the wider boating community,” he said.

“All you have to do is contact TasPorts and it will do everything it can to help – the skippers from TasPorts are a part of the boating family.”

Volunteer Marine Rescue Kingborough received funding from TasPorts to purchase a rescue dummy.

“Ensuring our volunteers are adequately trained is key to our success, so to receive funding from TasPorts
to purchase a 40kg water rescue dummy is really great,” Volunteer Marine Rescue Kingborough secretary Andrew Fogarty said.

“The dummy replicates a human and can be used to allow us to simulate the retrieval of a person from the water. This allows training to be done safely and reduces risk to our members.

“TasPorts has shown a fantastic commitment to the marine rescue around the state, and we are very grateful and excited to work hand-in-hand to help keep people safe out on the water.”

Dodges Ferry Marine Rescue used the grant to purchase new life jackets from local manufacturer Stormy.

“To receive a TasPorts grant to purchase top- of-the-line life jackets for our volunteers is incredible,” Dodges Ferry Volunteer Marine Rescue secretary Michael Verrier said.

Mr Verrier said the funds would also allow the organisation to update its training room.

“Our training room is used for educational purposes and by the general public completing their boat licence,” he said.

“The funds from TasPorts will allow us to provide better participant facilities for enhanced learning.”

Applications for the next funding round open on 1 August 2023 and close on 21 August, with $50,000 of funding available. Please visit the TasPorts website for more information.

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About the Author: Eastern Shore Sun

The Eastern Shore Sun is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 30,000 homes and businesses in the communities of Clarence and Sorell. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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