Here are a few examples of the type of activities that we have undertaken over the last couple of years. It demonstrates our diverse and valuable contribution to our local community, especially those involved in boating and other water activities.

Activities Articles

  • Lifejackets do save lives
    When a boat operator who was fishing alone off Thirteenth Beach slipped and fell overboard he knew he was in big trouble. His boat was in gear and motoring away from him, leaving him unable to raise an alarm. Other boats in the area did not see him so he had to make the hour and a half swim to shore. He says he would never have got there if he had not been wearing his lifejacket (PFD). Coast Watch was called and we retrieved his boat which was over five nautical miles off shore and heading for Read More
  • Towing practice sessions
    When not performing real life rescues, we take the opportunity for our crews to practice, practice, practice. Using a restored training vessel that we can take out to sea or use in the river, we regularly hold training sessions using a range of towing techniques under different conditions. We also practice the safe retrieval of people from the water, navigation and search techniques. This sharpens our skills and prepares us for the real thing.Read More
  • Santa by the sea
    It’s not all hard work at Coast Watch. At one of our training sessions just before Christmas we had an additional crew member join us. After leaving his sleigh and reindeer ashore, Santa took to the water in the Coast Watch rescue boat to greet people along the Barwon River. And for those who are wondering, his red coat is actually an inflatable lifejacket!Read More
  • First Aid Course
    A number of Coast Watch members obtained or renewed their First Aid and Emergency Response qualifications at a training course conducted by an outside provider at our headquarters in Ocean Grove. These skills are an important part of our training program because they help prepare us for medical emergencies at sea or ashore.Read More
  • Flare training day
    After obtaining permits and notifying all the relevant authorities, Coast Watch members gathered at the Ocean Grove boat ramp to learn about the different types of distress flares and become familiar with their use. This was a vital part of our training program because most of us (fortunately) have not had to use a distress flare in a real life emergency situation.Read More
  • Fathers’ Day rescue
    On Fathers’ day 2017, a family group fishing off Barwon Heads struck the reef near the wreck of the Orungal (The Boilers) and damaged their propeller. Unable to make headway, they were caught in deteriorating conditions and drifting out to sea when we arrived and rescued them. They were very relieved and grateful to be towed back to the safety of the boat ramp in the Barwon River.Read More
  • Assistance with Surf Lifesaving Club’s Open Ocean Swim
    Coast Watch helped out by acting as a safety boat during the Ocean Grove Surf Lifesaving Club K Rock Open Ocean Swim off the Ocean Grove beach. We also helped to deploy the inflatable marker buoys that guided the swimmers around the course. The Coast Watch crew is seen here with rubber duckies from Ocean Grove SLC. We were happy to report that our rescue services were not needed on this occasion.Read More
  • Fundraising sausage sizzle
    Like many organisations, we have held sausage sizzles at Bunnings Warehouse to help with our fundraising efforts. Our ready and willing team of volunteers have given many hours of their time to prepare and sell hundreds of these tempting treats, and so help us raise money for ongoing running costs such as fuel, insurance, maintenance, training and the protective equipment needed for our operations. It does not interfere with our rescue work, and on a cold and windy day, it is more fun cooking Read More
  • Protective canopy fitted to our rescue boat
    Thanks to financial assistance from the Ocean Grove Connected Communities group, we were able to supplement our own funds and purchase a protective canopy for our rescue vessel. Because of the height restrictions when going under the Barwon Heads bridge, this had to be made detachable in case we are called out at high tide. Grove Marine Fabrications, a local company, were able to design, build and install just what we needed.Read More
  • Canoeists rescued from Lake Connewarre
    Six teenage canoeists got into difficulties while paddling up the Barwon River to Lake Connewarre. A change of tide and strong head winds left them exhausted and unable to complete the return journey. They raised the alarm and at the request of the Water Police, Coast Watch was able to arrange a shallow water vessel to go upstream and retrieve them. Towed line astern, they made a colourful procession back down the river.Read More
  • Boat capsized and skipper injured
    While attempting to leave the Barwon River, a recreational fisherman’s boat was caught head on by a large wave and came down vertically into the water. The operator was thrown backwards and knocked out, but fortunately the boat righted itself and he remained on board. A nearby boat got it out of immediate danger and Coast Watch towed it to the safety of the boat ramp. When we arrived, the owner who had suffered head injuries, was taken to hospital by a waiting ambulance.Read More
  • New ute arrives
    Coast Watch took delivery of a new tow vehicle, thanks to a grant from Emergency Management Victoria that partially funded this vital piece of equipment. Prior to the arrival of the Isuzu Ute, we relied on members using their own vehicles to tow our boat down to the ramp. With a tight squeeze we are just able to fit this vehicle inside our boat storage shed so that it is ready for use in the event of a call out.Read More
  • Rescue off Thirteenth Beach
    When an experienced local fisherman was left stranded after his boat broke down off Thirteenth Beach, our rescue crew went out to assist and tow him back. The relieved owner later wrote us a heartfelt letter of thanks for helping him out of a difficult and potentially dangerous situation. It’s amazing how much a simple “thank you” can make it all worthwhile.Read More
  • New headquarters opened
    Construction of the new meeting room was completed in July 2016 and it was named in honour of our President, Barry Joyce, as recognition of his many years of service to Coast Watch. Barry has worked tirelessly to develop and expand the squad and he also used his skills as a builder to help construct this excellent facility.Read More
  • Rescue near “The Boilers”
    A recreational fishing boat broke down near the submerged wreck of the Orungal, just off the coast at Barwon Heads. This site is on a shallow reef and is known locally as “The Boilers” because that is all that remains of the wreck. We responded to their call for assistance and were able to tow them to safety without mishap.Read More
  • Boat sinks off Point Lonsdale
    Coast Watch Ocean Grove was called out by the Water Police to assist the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard and Southern Peninsula Rescue with a boat that was sinking off Point Lonsdale. Thankfully no one was seriously injured and the boat was eventually recovered. This was yet another example of the cooperation between volunteer marine search and rescue organisations and the Water Police.Read More
  • Search for missing plane
    When a light plane crashed into the sea off Ocean Grove, Coast Watch was called upon to take part in an extensive search for survivors. Units from several other marine search and rescue units, as well as the Water Police and aircraft, took part in an operation that lasted several days. Sadly there were no survivors and four people tragically lost their lives in the crash.Read More
  • Work started on Coast Watch club rooms
    After many years of holding meetings and training sessions crowded into our boat storage shed, we finally accumulated sufficient funds and arranged the necessary permits to commence work on a new building to house our administrative headquarters. With the help and co-operation of several local businesses together with working-bees by club members, we got the concrete slab poured and started construction. Many members donated their time and skills to the building project to help keep costs down.Read More