Marine radio warning

Port Fairy Marine Rescue Service has rescued a handful of stranded vessels this summer, prompting a reminder to boat users to learn how to use a marine radio. 

The life-saving lesson was evident as recently as Thursday night after crews rescued and towed a stranded boat off Killarney. 

Port Fairy Marine Rescue Service is hoping the message will be taken to the wharves and boat ramps after a safety seminar at the Port Fairy Yacht Club on Sunday morning. 

Duty officer Pauline McDonald said around 10 people went to the seminar, which was addressed by Doug Abbott who was among six survivors from the Inception sinking off Port Campbell during the Queenscliff to Port Fairy yacht race last year. 

The dramatic tale of the survival of all six men in rough seas served as a reminder to prepare for the worst. 

Ms McDonald said all six crew had worn personal EPIRB devices — emergency beacons which broadcast the exact location of distress. 

The items were critical to the crew’s survival and Ms McDonald urged other boat users coming to Port Fairy to wear them out on the water. 

“They’re not that expensive and what expense do you place on your life,” Ms McDonald said.

During the seminar, volunteers also went through proper marine radio procedure and how to alert services of an emergency. 

Ms McDonald said all boat users should learn how to use a radio and test it regularly. 

“If you get into an emergency situation you will panic, but you will know the basics,” she said. 

On Thursday night the marine service rescued two men off the coast of Killarney when their motor broke down.

Ms McDonald said the men used their marine radio to alert services of their exact location and status, allowing rescuers to find their position quickly. 

“It makes it easier for us to find them,” she said. 

“They did all the right things and they had warm clothes, food and water.”

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