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Every second counts in an emergency: a stronger Coast Guard and safer bay

Friday 12 October 2018

With demolition of the Frankston Volunteer Coast Guard building at Frankston Waterfront completed following the building being condemned, Council is ramping up its calls to both state and federal politicians to fund a new building and safe boat refuge at Olivers Hill.

Participating in a mock rescue with Frankston Volunteer Coast Guard last week (Wednesday 3 October), Frankston City Mayor Colin Hampton experienced the current journey it takes volunteer rescuers to reach a distressed vessel nearby Olivers Hill.

“Currently, no safe boat refuge exists between Sandringham and Safety Beach for Coast Guard and Water Police boats, with vessels moored more than 45 minutes away in Patterson River, delaying rescues by up to 100 minutes in adverse weather.”

“On top of that, the Frankston Coast Guard's operations centre had been condemned after it reached the end of its serviceable life, with services and rescues currently being coordinated out of temporary council facilities.”

The mock rescue departed Patterson Lakes Marina at 11.10am travelling along Patterson River with waves crashing into the bow of the eight metre Coast Guard rescue vessel, bound for south of Olivers Hill jetty.

As vessel speeds picked up in the bay, so too did crashing waves to the front and sides of the vessel. At 11.30am the rescue vessel reached the ‘distressed’ vessel to assist with towing, arriving at Olivers Hill boat ramp at 11.50am.

Strong winds and crashing waves displayed the struggle volunteers face when rescuing people and transferring safely to emergency services on land at Olivers Hill jetty.

An attempt was also made at Frankston Pier however the winds and strong waves prevented this, resulting in a long and rough travel back to Patterson River.

“Every second counts when it comes to an emergency. This example is evidence that the current facilities for marine rescues aren’t up to scratch,” said the Mayor.

“We’re asking for state and federal governments to commit $8 million each to deliver the vital marine safety that our Coast Guard, Water Police and all bay users need and deserve.”

This project will deliver:

  • A new safe boat refuge for Coast Guard, Water Police and other boats
  • Training facilities for small boat operators
  • Public amenities, including new toilets

Learn more about this project, share your stories and receive updates at: futurefrankston.com.au

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