21/01/2023 06:00 AM

More than 100 boats from volunteer emergency services agencies, including the NSW State Emergency Service (SES), will descend upon the state’s waterways today as part of an operational readiness exercise.  

‘Who let the boats out?’ is a NSW SES led multi-agency flood rescue exercise designed to develop the capability of on-water operators and incident management team members, while also fostering relationships and partnerships between emergency service agencies. 

More than 400 SES volunteers will be joined by operators from NSW Rural Fire Service, NSW Surf Life Saving, Marine Rescue NSW and VRA Rescue NSW. 

NSW SES Commissioner Carlene York APM said SES volunteers from across the state will benefit from the training exercise. 

“While these on-water skills are invaluable, the benefit that the volunteers will reap most will be the ability to respond seamlessly and efficiently with other agencies in real-life emergencies,” Commissioner York.  

“Today’s exercise will ensure that volunteers are better acquainted with each service’s vessels and operating styles so we can join forces and serve the community when needed.”  

Exercise coordinator and NSW SES volunteer, Adam Jones, said ‘Who let the boats out?’ is the largest simultaneous boating exercise for the state’s volunteer agencies. 

“Volunteers from the South Coast to the Northern Rivers, will have their boating mettle tested as they practice maneuvering, launching and docking vessels, recovering persons overboard, radio communications, troubleshooting boats, fire drills and navigation,” Mr Jones said. 

For emergency help in floods and storms, call the NSW SES on 132 500. In life-threatening situations, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

Media enquiries: Annabelle Allen – 0404 431 028  or media@ses.nsw.gov.au

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