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New rescue boat launches at Tumby Bay

The Yaragada will help the local SES keep boaties and swimmers safe.

Oct 17, 2023, updated Oct 17, 2023
The 8.6 metre inboard-powered vessel is named Yaragada, meaning to seek or search in the language of Tumby Bay’s traditional custodians the Barngarla people. Photo: supplied

The 8.6 metre inboard-powered vessel is named Yaragada, meaning to seek or search in the language of Tumby Bay’s traditional custodians the Barngarla people. Photo: supplied

The South Australian State Emergency Services commissioned the new boat for its Tumby Bay unit.

The 8.6 metre inboard-powered vessel is named Yaragada, meaning to seek or search in the language of Tumby Bay’s traditional custodians the Barngarla people.

Tumby Bay SES Unit Manager Joel Collings said the unit asked the community for an appropriate name.

“This is their land and we get them to give us what they believe is the best name for us,” Collings said.

Yaragada is the Tumby Bay unit’s only rescue boat and will replace a 20-year-old craft that will be auctioned off.

The boat was purpose-built by Lonsdale-based Nautic Star and Collings said it can “go out in rougher seas and handles the ocean a lot better, is more stable, and we’ve got side access so we can pull patients out of the water easily onto the deck”.

SASES Chief Officer Chris Beattie said the boat’s updated design and equipment will improve the unit’s search capability and help provide a timely and efficient response to incidents.

“It also means that our volunteers will be able to operate more safely for longer periods and in a wider range of weather and sea conditions,” Beattie said.

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Collings said that while the boat was sturdier than the old boat, the most significant upgrade was new GPS capabilities.

“The skipper and the helmsman [now] have the same information as the person on the port side on the radios,” he said.

“They can see exactly where we’re going and they’ve got the same information, and if we have a rescue where the water police need to give us coordinates they can actually send them to us directly on the boat and we can get them live while we’re out on the water searching.”

Yaragada was commissioned at a formal ceremony on Saturday.

“I dress up in my blue dress uniform, but we don’t break the Champagne over the boat – we just pour it over,” he said.

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