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Marine Rescue



Coba Point Fire Incident – 18th August 2018

After lunch on Saturday the 18th of August, the Rescue vessel Hawkesbury 22 was towing a broken down vessel with a family on board back to the safety of Mooney Mooney boat ramp.  Passing Brooklyn in strong winds the Coxswain David H pointed out to the crew, Paul H and Luke C, smoke coming over the hill tops from the west.  At the time, David said to the crew ‘I don’t like the look of that.’ Not too long after, getting ready to secure the distressed vessel alongside the jetty at Mooney Mooney boat ramp a call was received from the Marine Rescue NSW Regional Operations Manager, Glenn Evans, tasking the crew of Hawkesbury 22 to go immediately to the aid of the Rural Fire Service fighting a bush fire at Coba Point.  The message was relayed to the Crew of Hawkesbury 21, Derek W and Wendy M. Within minutes, both rescue vessels along with Broken Bay Water Police were off to Coba Point at high speed.  On arrival at the scene, Helicopters and RFS Units could be seen tackling the blaze.  It was obvious that more man power was going to be needed and under the direction of Fire Control Command, the Marine Rescue Vessels were tasked to bring additional crews and equipment up from Berowra Waters RFS.

Coba Point From Hawkesbury 22Coba Point From Hawkesbury 22

The two Marine Rescue Hawkesbury vessels were also joined by Cottage Point 31, a larger vessel from our colleagues at Marine Rescue Cottage Point to help ease the work load, as crews and equipment were moved around the water access only properties under risk.  Working through the evening both vessels eventually returned to base, after 9.00 pm.  The Hawkesbury Unit Commander, Peter Moore headed up a relief crew along with Craig Staff, to keep Hawkesbury 21 out on the water to help the fire crews. During this time the crew rendered medical evacuation to 3 RFS members, 2 of which were suffering mild hypothermia, and one suffering back pain. Eventually, Hawkesbury 21 returned to base, well after midnight, to be refuelled. The Marine Rescue Hawkesbury base has crew trained for night operations just for this type of tasking.   

On sunday morning after a bit of a rest the crews were awakened at 04.45 am to take the Rescue Vessels back up to Berowra and be at the disposal of the RFS.  After a Briefing around 6.00 am, the operation continued taking fresh crews and equipment up to Coba Point and bringing tired and weary crews back to the Berowra Waters RFS Base.  The two Hawkesbury vessels were again joined by colleagues from Marine Rescue Cottage point on Cottage Point 30, a larger again vessel to keep the effort continuing through the morning.  Off duty skipper, Greg R came to the Hawkesbury base and took over as master of Hawkesbury 21 along with Paul H until the unit was stood down in the afternoon after great thanks and appreciation from fire command.

Hawkesbury 22 - Jill McGrathHawkesbury 22 - Jill McGrath

21st/22nd of April was one of our busiest weekends for a while at Hawkesbury with a total of 8 assists completed over the weekend, including an offshore activation which led Hawkesbury 22 on a round trip of approximately 45 nautical miles. After receiving a call from MR Sydney about a 6m half cab adrift at the FAD off Broken Bay Hawkesbury 22 made its way to the last known position, intercepting the vessel who had since managed to make some slow progress back to land. After escorting most of the way back at a slow 5 knots at the owner’s request, the engine gave up once more near Juno Point and the Vessel was towed back to its trailer at Apple Tree Bay.

The other assists included 6 tows and a jump start. On one of these tows to Berowra Waters the crew were fortunate enough to witness a sea plane landing in the narrow waterway, touching down safely approximately 50m to the starboard of the Rescue Vessel.

As always there was plenty of training to be done with a refresher on COLREGS held by the Duty Coxswain, as well as some chart work and radio training for some of our newer members and a social visit to MR Cottage Point while in the immediate area. All in all, a great effort by all involved.















The morning of 11/6/18 at approximately 1030 Hawkesbury 22 was tasked by Marine Rescue Sydney to respond to a call of a vessel in distress with engine troubles just east of West Reef along with Marine Rescue Broken Bay's vessel Broken Bay 30. For those that aren't aware, West and East Reef's are located just north of Broken Bay either side of Maitland Bay and can be quite dangerous in a south/south eastern swell. Both vessels proceeded at speed to the location, arriving within half an hour of the first call being made. Broken Bay 30 took the vessel in tow to a marina in Pittwater, while Hawkesbury 22 shadowed them in as extra support.


Waved down on our way back to the duty wharf on May 6th 2018. This boat was taking water and had been run aground to prevent the vessel from sinking.

Hawkesbury 22 crew with pump in hand quickly took control pumping out water.

Towed back to Mooney Mooney boat ramp with make shift bung in place saved the day.



At 0416 the morning of March 18 2018 Marine Rescue Hawkesbury was tasked to find and assist a 4.5m runabout in Broken Bay. The vessel was reported capsized or near capsized with multiple persons in the water.

Both HW21 & HW22 arrived within 20 minutes of the call being received, finding 8 wet and cold people who'd managed to climb back aboard.

The vessel was secured for towing and the occupants transferred to HW21, treated to prevent hypothermia and returned to Empire Bay. HW22 remained available to cover further work that might arise in the early hours before sunrise.

After delivering the runabout HW21 was then tasked to assist a 6m cruiser that had run aground near Woy Woy boat ramp. This vessel was successfully re-floated undamaged and left under its own power.


Hawkesbury 21 - Merv CollinsHawkesbury 21 - Merv Collins