St Helens Marine Rescue soon to be affiliated with Surf Life Saving Australia

St Helens Marine Rescue and Surf Life Saving Australia have agreed in principle to become affiliated. We would be retaining our name, St Helens Marine Rescue, as well as our uniform. We would, however, become an offshore arm of Surf Life Saving Australia. The affiliation would bring benefits to the two organisations that share the same objectives of serving to protect and educate the public and render assistance to persons in distress.

With the affiliation, Surf Life Saving Australia’s experience, resources and the extent of its operations Australia-wide could be leveraged to provide a better service to the communities in North East Tasmania. It would also allow both organisations to make better use of expensive and scarce resources such as rescue vessels and aircraft.

This is promising to be an exciting time for all members of St Helens Marine Rescue as new opportunities develop. Watch this space for more news once the agreement with Surf Life Saving Australia has been ratified by both organisations.

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Rio Tinto Alcan Bell Bay Community Grant

St Helens Marine Rescue is one of four recipients of a Rio Tinto Alcan Bell Bay community grant. The $500 granted to us will enable the purchase of much-needed equipment to assist with night time rescues.

As we are a totally self-funded organisation and rely totally on community donations we are grateful for Rio Tinto Alcan’s support. We are one of four recipients of the first round of this year’s Rio Tinto Alcan Bell Bay community grants programme. Other successful applicants are the Salvation Army for its therapeutic youth residential programme, a Launceston family in need of a support dog, the Launceston General Hospital 4k Children’s Ward auxiliary and the Youth Suicide Action group.

Rio Tinto Alcan has a long history of supporting Tasmanian communities and the community grants initiative provides financial support to not-for-profit organisations and individuals across the State.

A presentation to St Helens Marine Rescue Association will be held at the marine rescue
building at the St Helens wharf on Friday 17 June at 2.30pm. Media are invited to
attend and picture opportunities will be available.

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Dredging at Pelican Point Complete

Access to Georges Bay has become safer with dredging at Pelican Point now complete, providing better and safer access for larger boats to enter Georges Bay to unload their fish catch or to re-fuel.

During the first stage of the project (2009) more than 200,000 cubic metres of sand was removed from the entrance to Georges Bay . The second stage was significantly delayed following an objection by the Department of Environment, but the dredging finally commenced in March 2011 and 5,000 cubic metres of sand was pumped from Pelican Point to restore the channel depth to 2.2 metres at this location. Just in time for the scallop season too!

The dredging was commissioned by Marine and Safety Tasmania.

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Dredging at Pelican Point

Pelican Point Dredging Transiting Procedures (click on image to see it full-size)

Pelican Point Dredging Transiting Procedures (click on image to see it full-size)

After a two week delay, dredging at Pelican Point will now commence on Friday 18th March. Full information is available on the MAST website, and the NOTICE TO MARINERS relating to the dredging transiting procedures can be downloaded from the same page.

The dredge equipment is currently at Stieglitz where the discharge pipe is being connected into long lengths, before being moved to the dredge site. This and the dredge barge will start to be moved to the site by Friday 18th, with pumping likely to commence on Saturday 19th March.

The dredging will be undertaken by Slurry Systems Marine using a cutter-suction dredge. This dredge consists of a barge approximately 8.0 metres long with a beam of approximately 3.0m.

During the period of dredging, which is expected to be 3-4 weeks, transiting of the channel will be restricted. It will be necessary to pass to the western side of the barge at all times. This includes times of dredging and other times of the day and night when dredging is not occurring, but the barge is moored in the channel.

The barge will exhibit shapes during the day and lights at night indicating dredge operations and that it is safe to pass to the west. Due to the discharge pipe to Blanche Beach, at no time will it be safe to pass to the east of the barge.

Normal working hours will be 07h00-17h00 daily, and it is likely that the contractor may operate seven days a week.

The channel will be dredged in two passes, with the western side of the channel being the first pass. During this time transiting vessels will be required to pass the barge to the west of the current channel. Due to limited depth in this area, it will be necessary to transit at high tide only.

During dredging it will be necessary to deploy an anchor approximately 30 metres further west than the barge. Vessels can pass further west of this anchor, if depth allows, or pass between the dredge and the anchor. The anchor wire will be slack and on the bottom when vessels are passing.

The dredge operator will be monitoring VHF Channel 16 and will utilise another working channel to communicate further with vessels wishing to pass. It is important to notify them of your intending passage, particularly when travelling from the barway, as visibility astern from the barge will be limited.

Should you not be able to raise the Slurry Systems Marine dredge operator via VHF radio then the following mobile phone numbers apply (dredge operators will be rotating):

  • Dave: Phone 0437 124 385
  • Murray: Phone: 0400 175 791
  • Lex: Phone: 0413 007 387

For further queries contact Justin Foster at MAST on 0418 142 053.

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Busy Start to the Year

Vessels in Transit to Australian Wooden Boat Festival in Hobart

Vessels in Transit to Australian Wooden Boat Festival in Hobart

St Helens Marine Rescue has had a very busy start to the year. From the 1 January 2011 to 5 Februar 2011 our rescue boats attended 34 vessels. Activities ranged from towing grounded yachts, assisting those with mechanical breakdowns and barway escorts.

Our crews also took part in a Statewide flare demonstration organised by Marine and Safety Tasmania.
Many members assisted and were on 24 hour standby providing help to our community during the flood here last month.

A number of yachts were assisted into St Helens were on their way to the Australian Wooden Boat Festival in Hobart and have enjoyed their stay in our town.

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