Ballina MP Tamara Smith with Marine Rescue representatives.
Ballina MP Tamara Smith with Marine Rescue representatives.

Marine Rescue has high tech eyes on the water

MARINE Rescue’s capabilities have been boosted with a new camera system keeping eyes on Cape Byron and the bar of the Brunswick River.

The addition comes from $47,000 in funding announced for Marine Rescue Cape Byron through the State Government’s Community Building Partnerships Program. Ballina MP Tamara Smith announced the funding on Tuesday.

Ms Smith said the funds would go toward “important improvements to the operational capability of the Marine Rescue facility” and would increase the organisation’s capacity to respond in real time and through extreme weather events.

Along with the camera system, the funding will go towards a back-up generator to ensure critical radio room operations can continue during emergencies.

“The Marine Rescue team do an excellent job in ensuring that locals and tourists alike can continue to participate in the many coastal activities available in this region, knowing that help is readily available,” Ms Smith said. “Volunteer-run organisations like Marine Rescue NSW are the lifeblood of our region and I’m privileged to be able to support the great work that they do through the Community Building Partnership program today.”

Marine Rescue’s regional operations manager for the Northern Rivers John Murray said the Cape Byron team was “very excited” about the additions.

The cameras can be remotely operated by volunteers, who will be able to move the view with a joystick or zoom in, something Mr Murray said would be a great help during emergencies at Brunswick Heads and Cape Byron.

The cameras’ view will also be accessible through an iPad on one of the rescue vessels. The technology will also be handy for monitoring bar and ocean conditions.

“It gives us the capacity to monitor the bar for incidents and monitor the bay area,” Mr Murray said. “It’s enabling us to do our job better.”

If you’re going offshore, log in with Marine Rescue on VHF channel 16 or on the MarineRescue mobile app.