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Media Release

​Marine rescue volunteers on full alert over the festive season
Friday 23 December 2016 – 11:00 AM

Volunteer Marine Rescue Services (VMRS) are preparing for another busy summer in WA and are urging people to stay safe on the water.

This week, with possible cyclones in the north and strong swells expected down south, people are being asked to check weather conditions before heading out on the water.

Typically the festive season is the busiest time of the year, with VMRS crews responding to 290 incidents, including 30 life threatening emergencies last summer.

Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) Deputy Commissioner Steve Fewster said a day out on the water could turn dangerous very quickly, especially if you hadn’t prepared adequately.

“Unlike a vehicle breakdown where you might be inconvenienced for a few hours, a similar scenario on a boat at the mercy of strong winds and waves could be life threatening,” Deputy Commissioner Fewster said.

“Simple actions to take to stay safe on the water include having the correct safety equipment on-board including lifejackets and distress flares, maintaining a proper lookout to avoid collisions and being aware of your boat propellers that could cause serious injuries.”

WA’s longest serving Commander of 23 years, Geoff Brierley from Cape Naturaliste VMRS said that helping his local community is what makes volunteering worth it. 

“Attending an incident can be difficult because it might be someone you know, but the reason my team and I have dedicated years of our lives to training is so we can save lives - and I will continue to do so as long as I can.” 

Over 1,700 marine rescue volunteers in WA attend a range of incidents including search and rescue missions and towing vessels to shore.  

DFES in partnership with WA Police and Department of Transport have created a video that explains how we help Western Australians stay safe on the water this summer, which can be accessed at https://www.youtube.com/user/DFESWesternAustralia


Media Contact: DFES Media and Corporate Communications 9225 5955. 


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