Welcome to Hedland, Sardam
It may have only been in operation for two weeks, but a new state-of-the-art rescue vessel for volunteers in Port Hedland has already helped save lives.
Called the Sardam, the boat is temporarily the only dedicated rescue vessel for the Volunteer Marine Rescue Service Port Hedland while its regular Iron Pride ship is refitted in Perth.
VMRSPH Commander Zac Slaughter said the team expected Iron Pride to be back in the Pilbara by July, but would use the Sardam in the meantime, which had been loaned to them by State volunteers.
“(Sardam) is essentially brand new, it just got rebuilt as well so all new toys on it, new engines, new electronics, everything,” he said.
“It is great, a fun boat.”
The 7.2m ship features an Air Rider hull and is propelled by twin 150 horse power outboards.
“We’ve had to do a rescue in it already and several training exercises, so it’s going really well,” Cdr Slaughter said.
The rescue involved a broken-down vessel about 65km off shore.
The crew reported Sardam towed the distressed vessel back home “just fine”.
The boat also took part in a simulated training exercised with WA Police and the Pilbara Port Authority last Thursday, based on finding a fisherman whose boat had caught fire at sea.
A dummy was dropped in the water for the workshop and the vessels and aircraft taking part completed careful searches of the area in an attempt to locate the floating fake-fisherman.
Commander Slaughter estimated 90 per cent of rescues the VMR conducts were because of vessels breaking down.
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