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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.