Barway Through the Ages

The St Helens Bar has been the subject of many a discussion throughout the ages and remains so to this day. The following image was taken from Marine Rescue’s barway camera.

Easterly conditions whip up impassable waters

Historically the Bar has been highlighted in first hand reports. The following references are taken from “The Harbour” by Gary Richardson, 2010; ISBN: 978-0-9807971-7-6.

MJ Hobbs’ log in 1824: “On the 3rd of July I sounded the bar at Geordy’s River (entrance to Georges Bay) at low water; nine feet was the least I could find. the bar is thirty yards broad, and steep too, on the outside to five and seven fathoms.”

From The Hobart Town Courier, 17 May 1833: “…… the immediate object to ascertain, by means or other the depth of water on the bar; ……. Tucker was asked to steer for the outside of the bar, and then commence ‘heaving the lead’, and, soon the seaman sung, by mark, 10-10-101/2-11-10-10-9 feet of water… a ship can enter with all winds, except the N.E and E., and when these prevail, or at ebb tide, …”

From The Examiner 25 April 1890: “Crossing the bar the lead was going all the time, a very necessary precaution as the channel is continually shifting.”

These are an incredible insights from the past. The more things change the more they remain the same. St Helens Marine Rescue is dedicated in ensuring safety and well being for mariners, we constantly survey the depth profiles on the Bar Channel and Pelican Point and provide information as well as escorts for a safe crossing. When the best advice is ignored disaster may follow:

Recent grounding after the offer of an escort was turned down.

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How to use a VHF radio

As the summer recreational season intensifies it is paramount that boaters know how to use a VHF radio. This is an essential part  of the vessel’s safety equipment.

The ACMA has produced an educational video for the recreational boating community about how, and why it is important, to operate your VHF marine radio correctly. Hook Line and Sinker presenters Nick Duigan and Andrew Hart informs our maritime community on the protocols for using a VHF radio. It is certainly not daunting, with practice easily mastered.

St Helens Marine Rescue commends this video to all skippers and boaters. We welcome members of the public to observe our friendly, welcoming radio operators at the Base Station. You can find us on the Esplanade 24/7 from 8:00 am until 5:10 pm.

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Boaters Safety Gear for the upcoming recreational season

With summer approaching the new recreation boating season is nigh. It is absolute that all skippers have a thorough understanding and knowledge of the safety equipment aboard your vessel. Who better than Andrew Hart & Nick Duigan to illustrate what is required. Go to the following video for a five minute tutorial on what and where all boaters should have on board.

In addition make sure your boat is serviced along with your safety vests.

When all is in place you can be confident of a safe and memorable summer on our fabulous water ways.

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Pelican Point in Georges Bay – Depth Profile

St Helens Marine Rescue took a depth profile of Pelican Point today. Depth wise it is the best we have seen for a long period of time. Mariners are urged to take care when transiting this shallow section of Georges Bay. Take note of the time and tide data when these readings were observed. I f in doubt always seek local advise. We are contactable on 0408 817 359 or VHF Channel 16 from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm.

Depth profile Pelican Point

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2018 AGM & Preparing for Summer


Members are invited to attend the 2018 St Helens Marine Rescue Annual General Meeting (AGM) Sunday October 21st. The meeting will commence at 11:00 am, followed by a BBQ.

Preparing for the Summer

All boaters are encouraged to prepare for the upcoming recreational boating season. I can thoroughly recommend boat owners and skippers check out the MaST web site for a very comprehensive checklist that details all aspects of your vessel. Once completed boaters can be confident the season will be safe and enjoyable.

The link is: Boat and Gear Checklist




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