RESCUE READY: John Donoghue and Norm Lannoy from Ballina Marine Rescue with the replacement boat.
RESCUE READY: John Donoghue and Norm Lannoy from Ballina Marine Rescue with the replacement boat. Doug Eaton And Danny Kerkenezov From Portside Marine Pacific

Replacement for Marine Rescue boat wrecked during rescue

MARINE Rescue Ballina finally has a replacement boat, almost two months after its own vessel capsized during a dramatic rescue on the Richmond River bar.

Unit commander Norm Lannoy said the boat arrived at the weekend and was now moored at the trawler harbour.

"The replacement vessel has come from Trial Bay," he said.

"That unit received a new vessel, and we will have their old one until the time comes that we can get our own new boat.

"It is a 7.5m monohull RIB, but we need to update the safety gear, the navigation gear and the lifejackets.

"There is a lot of work that needs to be done."

The Ballina unit's boat was written off after a rescue in treacherous conditions in April, during which the three crew members were thrown from the boat and rescued by the Ballina Jet Boat Rescue service.

An aerial photograph of the Ballina Marine Rescue boat washed up at South Ballina after flipping during a rescue. The photo was taken by former Ballina councillor and pilot Margaret Howes.
An aerial photograph of the Ballina Marine Rescue boat washed up at South Ballina after flipping during a rescue. The photo was taken by former Ballina councillor and pilot Margaret Howes. Contributed

A few days later the boat washed up on South Ballina Beach.

"It could be months before we get a new boat," he said.

"We'd be looking at a 10m RIB, with all the mod cons, and that would cost about $400,000.

"These are excellent rescue vessels. They have night vision and all the state-of-the-art safety gear."

Marine Rescue Ballina is also fundraising for a new tower.

Ballina Shire Council has awarded the tender for the design of the project, and $1.75 million has been set aside in the 2013/14 budget.

Art show to HELP MARINE RESCUE

 THE Ballina Marine Rescue unit's next fundraiser is the annual Waves and Waterways Art Exhibition

 It will be held from June 28-30 at the Richmond Room, Ballina

 Email artshow@vmrballina.com or phone Joan on 0427 788 318


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