Victoria Minister for Police and Emergency Services Kim Wells
New Rescue Vessel For St. Kilda SES
Victor P Taffa
Emergency response for the coastline and waterways around St Kilda received a boost today with a new rescue vessel delivered to the St. Kilda State Emergency Services (SES) Unit.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services Kim Wells was joined by Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle to officially hand over the keys to the 550 GEMINI FRB vessel on the Yarra River at Southbank this morning.
“St Kilda features one of the most popular stretches of coastline in Victoria and this $65,000 vessel will assist the St. Kilda SES unit as they conduct search and rescue missions and work to protect recreational boat users.” Mr. Wells said.
“This 1,300 kg vessel features a hard hull so it’s more durable than the existing inflatable boat and will increase safety for volunteers accessing deep water and rivers filled with debris. The boat is also bigger so it will accommodate more rescue personnel.”
The vessel also includes hydraulic steering, towing capabilities, navigation lights, a non-slip deck and a fire extinguisher.
St. Kilda SES unit has 36 active members, including 5 new recruits.
“Volunteers from St. Kilda SES responded to 237 requests for assistance in the last year, so they do a remarkable job responding and protecting their community.” Mr. Wells said.
“This year alone, the St. Kilda unit has participated in a kayak rescue in Victoria, an incident involving a cruise ship in New South Wales and a rescue involving three people when their boat began sinking during the St. Kilda Festival.”
The St. Kilda unit has also provided emergency assistance during major flood operations such as the floods at Nathalia and Koo Wee Rup in 2012 and the 2011 floods at Carisbrook.
“This rescue vessel will help SES volunteers save lives at sea or in major events such as floods.” Mr. Wells said.
The vessel was funded using $35,000 from the SES Critical Assets Program, $10,000 from St. Kilda SES unit, $10,000 from the City of Melbourne and $10,000 from the RACV club.
Mr. Wells said the Victorian Coalition Government committed $47.23 Million to Victorian State Emergency Services in the 2013-14 State Budget.
“On behalf of the Coalition Government and the people of Victoria, I congratulate the St. Kilda SES unit and all SES personnel for the hard work you do to protect our community.” Mr. Wells said.
“The Coalition Government will continue to support the SES to carry out its vital work.”