After almost four years of planning, gathering funds and window shopping, Esperance Volunteer Marine Rescue have become the first in WA to get a new jet powered boat.
Senior volunteer skipper Chris Buckley said they were the first group in the state to get a dedicated, jet-powered rescue boat of this size.
“We’re quite honoured to be the first in WA to have a jet boat, and one of this size,” he said.
“Jet boats seem to be a lot of rescue organisations’ vessel of choice now because of the maneuverability and the fact that you’re just running jets of water basically.”
The $1.3 million Naiad vessel comes in at 12.5 metres and is capable of pushing out 2 tones of water per second.
It was funded through the Department of Emergency Services, Royalties for Regions, and from selling the group’s previous 18-year-old rescue boat.
“It cruises at about 30 nautical miles, top speed would be getting close to 40, but you’ve got to get good conditions to be able to do that obviously,” Mr Buckley said.
“On a reasonable day we should be able to get out to Middle Island in say three hours, rather as opposed to five to six as we used to.
Commander Russell Palmer said the new boat would be an asset to both marine rescue and the community.
“It should mean that we have a more rapid response, a safer response for the crews, and you’ve got to think about crew comfort as well,” he said.
“A more comfortable crew is going to be able to respond better when they get out to a job, and this boat can definitely provide all of those.”
Deputy commander Glen Churchland the distance and speed was a key selling point, allowing them to reach remote locations where people may find themselves in need of help.
“Even as far as Israelite Bay and further, we can get there and that’s the important bit
“The boaties around here who go that far, if it all goes pear shaped, at least they klnow they can rely on us to get there as quick as possible, and quicker than we used to.
The vessel will be dedicated on July 22 with volunteers and supporters coming together to celebrate it’s completion.
Mr Buckley said people would be able to see the boat down at the yacht club pontoon.