Today I had the opportunity to meet with Commissioner Alex Barrell of Marine Rescue NSW to discuss a host of issues including how to better collaborate for the benefit of boating.

First up, I must congratulate Alex for his openness and willingness to work together. He is a highly skilled mariner with many years of maritime experience that now spans government and non-government sectors.

Marine Rescue NSW was formed in 2009 in a bid to establish a single, united volunteer organisation to support boating safety and search, and rescue. Government put in place an annual levy on regulated boating fees such as licensing to contribute to the overall revenue required to enable Marine Rescue to deliver its services. These include a log on/ log off services for people boating offshore, supporting Marine Area Command in search and rescue, and boating safety education, and training.

Today they have more than 3000 volunteers across 46 sites in NSW.

It is also good to see Marine Rescue is committed to supporting the NSW boat building industry, not only for ease of access during construction, maintenance and servicing but also to provide valuable skilled employment in regional centres.

BIA encourages the work of Alex and his team to use domestic builders and suppliers, and to engage our marine industry services in maintenance, service and repair.

When I learnt the number of vessel breakdowns that Marine Rescue must attend to each year, I understood why Alex is a supporter of a BIA project to see a national approach to a Responsible Boat Ownership campaign unfold this year. That campaign resonates with organisations such as Marine Rescue because it will help to encourage people keep their boats seaworthy and safe, to navigate safely, to store their boats securely and to make informed decisions when buying and selling such as when to seek the assistance of a trusted broker and surveyor, and much more. The reason BIA is behind such a campaign is that a great day on the water is a safe day.

The BIA and Marine Rescue will be collaborating with a focus on Boating Safety, with Marine Rescue having a strong presence at our 2024 Sydney International Boat Show in August.

See you on the water.

Andrew Scott, CEO

📸 pictured left to right: BIA Ltd President Adam Smith, Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Alex Barrell and BIA Ltd CEO Andrew Scott.