Volunteers from Marine Rescue Merimbula will celebrate a major milestone in their unit’s development with the official opening of their new $145,000 base at 11am tomorrow, June 14.Bega Valley Shire
Mayor Bill Taylor will join Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos, Board Director Howard Staples and unit members for the opening ceremony.
Commissioner Tannos said the new base, on the ground floor of the Merimbula Big Game Fishing and Lakes Angling Club building in Spencer Park, provided the unit’s volunteers with a purpose-built radio operations room and dedicated training facilities.
“This operations and training centre will significantly enhance the unit’s ability to respond to boating emergencies along the Far South Coast, from Bermagui in the north to Eden in the south, and to provide effective on-site training for its members,” he said.
“The development of this impressive new base is a credit to the hard work and commitment of the members of Marine Rescue Merimbula.
“Not only has the unit’s building committee worked for some years to design this facility and secure the necessary approvals but the members have also put in countless hours’ effort to raise much of the funding for the development.”
Local specialist commercial building contractors, Rankin Builders, of Pambula, completed the construction and fit-out in just over three months.
Unit Commander Bill Blakeman praised the unit’s building committee and the members’ fundraising efforts and acknowledged Bega Valley Shire Council’s assistance with planning, approvals and lease arrangements.
“For the first time since the unit’s commissioning, our volunteers now have a dedicated training facility, their own amenities and a modern radio communications room, along with storage for our equipment,” he said.
Bold corporate signage now clearly identifies Marine Rescue Merimbula’s location, reminds boaters to Log On and Log Off with the MRNSW radio safety network and provides information on what to do in the case of an emergency.
Commissioner Tannos also will present National Medals to two volunteers who have achieved 15 years’ service and two Long Service Medals to members who have given more than 10 years’ service.
He paid tribute to the unit’s volunteers for their dedication to serving the large local and visiting boating community along the coastline.
“This is a popular region for recreational boating and offshore fishing. Our volunteers are committed to saving lives on the water, giving their time to respond to emergencies, as well as to attend regular training, ensure their unit operates effectively and raise funds,” he said.
“The Merimbula unit also enjoys a great deal of support from its local community.
“The people of this region clearly value their volunteers, donating generously and taking part in fundraising activities such as the unit’s annual boat raffles, helping provide the funding for this new facility. We thank them for this.”
The Commissioner also acknowledged the vital support of the State Government and the boating community for Marine Rescue’s essential services.
“The financial support we receive from the Government and through boaters’ registration and licence fees is essential to our work to