Regular training, including sea survival training by the Tin Bay Coast Guard, ensures they are well prepared for a callout at any time
If you are a regular boatie using the Great Sandy Straits and its associated waterways, you will have seen the Coast Guard yellow vessels out and about doing training drills.
It may look like we have the most unreliable fleet around, always towing each other around. Nothing could be further from the truth as we have very well kept and maintained equipment, ready for action when the call comes in to our radio room for assistance.
We would, on average, spend about three hours training for every hour we spend on rescues. Our four boat crews rotate each week, so that they spend one week in every four either on duty at the base at weekends, or on call.
Each crew trains during their duty cycle, and all crews come together every two weeks for a combined training day. While it seems onerous, we know that we are well prepared for a callout at any time. Because callouts do occur at ANY time, we also train at night. Our night training helps with getting used to operating in very low visibility and being proficient in radar navigation.
We not only practice long towing, but rafted-up breast towing to help manoeuvre a disabled vessel right into the dock. We also train for emergencies such as a man overboard, fire, collision, grounding, search techniques, and abandoning ship safely, and transferring crew from one moving vessel to another.
Our crews also train in first aid, survival skills at sea, CPR techniques, radio telephony, use of flares and other distress signals. Your financial support through donations, marine assist memberships and raffle ticket sales help fund this vital training and maintenance of our fleet.
If you would like to become a volunteer member and train with us, we would love to hear from you. No previous experience is required, just an interest in boating safety, a basic level of fitness and the ability to swim.
We also welcome volunteers to join our radio room crew, keeping a safety watch from our base station 365 days a year. Contact the base on 5486 4290 if you would like to talk about any of our volunteering options.