A newly refitted marine rescue vessel in Port Hedland is already proving its worth with a recent rescue off the mining town’s coast.
The Iron Pride recently underwent a $189,000 refit, which included fitting a dual-band direction finder system that led the marine rescue crew directly to two fishermen who were in distress.
The pair had activated their Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) after their vessel began sinking when it was swamped by waves in rough seas.
Luckily the Marine Rescue Port Hedland crews were already ready to launch because they were due to show the capabilities of the new vessel to the Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan.
After being tasked to rescue the two fishermen and given a rough location, the crews used their new dual-band direction finder which led them directly to the fishermen who were clinging to their partially submerged vessel.
The pair were taken safely back to shore and their vessel later recovered.
The rescue not only demonstrated the high-level of skill and commitment of the Marine Rescue Port Hedland crews, but also the improved capabilities of the vessel refit, which included air-conditioning for the cabin to help with crew fatigue.
The refit was funded under the $19.5 million funding boost to Marine Rescue by the McGowan Labor Government. Private sponsors also helped support the Iron Pride refit.
As stated by Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan:
“I was due to see the capabilities of the new vessel firsthand, but the crews were tasked with a rescue that they completed in remarkable speed.
“The two fishermen were not only very lucky that they managed to activate their EPIRB before their boat partially sank, but they had crews already primed for action who had a new dual-band direction finder system that led the crews directly to them.
“I saw the seas that day and they were rough with a strong current that took those fishermen away from where they activated their EPIRB.
“Without the direction finder, those fishermen could have spent a long time out in the water waiting for rescue.
“I was very pleased when we managed to secure a record level of funding for our State’s Marine Rescue Services of $19.5 million, but even more so to actually see the improvements in action and our Marine Rescue crews hard at work.
“They did a great job as do all our Marine Rescue crews around the State who now have significant State Government support following the $19.5 million funding boost.”
As stated by Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel:
“There is a wonderful community spirit in Port Hedland which the crews at Marine Rescue Port Hedland proudly demonstrate.
“I am very happy that the State Government has been able to support the Port Hedland crews with this refitted vessel and that it’s already been put to great use.
“The Marine Rescue Port Hedland volunteers do a fantastic job keeping ocean goers safe and rescuing them from harm and they deserve all the support that we are able to give them.”
Minister’s office – 6552 6300