Paynesville Coast Guard will soon be able to undertake rescues more safely and effectively, with the addition of a new vessel and electronic steering system.
The flotilla was the recipient of more than $45,000 worth of funding under the Emergency Services Volunteer Sustainability Grant Program (ESVSGP) to purchase the steering system and a new generator. The grant also allowed for $7500 for training and fuel.
Jeff Williams, of Paynesville Coast Guard, said the steering system would be added to the flotilla’s new $460,000 vessel, currently under construction, made possible by a $300,000 Victorian Emergency Services Equipment Program grant, with the other $160,000 raised by volunteers.
“We’re finding that we need this due to the increasing size of the boats that we have to tow around on the Gippsland Lakes, and we also find that this 35-foot Noosa Cat will also handle foul weather conditions in a much better manner,” Mr Williams said.
“What we’ve also done is added a GPS and joystick steering system on the boat which enables much greater control at low speeds for pulling up next to stranded vessels and such. It also enables us to hit a button and maintain that position.
“We’re hoping to get delivery sometime between August and Christmas and we’re really looking for some young folk to come along and help us operate it.”
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said many other local emergency service organisations also received funding under ESVSGP, including:
• Marlo Coast Guard ($7500 for training and fuel);
• Lakes Entrance Coast Guard ($7500 for training and fuel);
• Mallacoota Coast Guard ($7500 for training and fuel);
• Sarsfield Fire Brigade ($11,500 for a thermal imaging camera);
• Briagolong Fire Brigade ($2875 for chainsaw, generator and lights);
• Lindenow South Rural Fire Brigade ($11,344 for two-way radios, fridge/freezers, hose nozzles and an urn);
• Paynesville Fire Brigade ($9309 for rehabilitation unit equipment);
• Lakes Entrance Surf Lifesaving Club ($23,359 for inflatable rescue boat and rescue boards);
• Mallacoota Surf Lifesaving Club ($21,551 for inflatable rescue boat and motor).
“This funding is great for these organisations, and it means that time previously spent selling sausages, raffle tickets and rattling tins, can be spent out in the field saving lives,” he said.
Mr Bull encouraged all local brigades to lodge an application to future rounds of this grant stream.
Caption: Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, with Paynesville Coast Guard’s Jeff Williams.
Tuesday, March 21, 2017