Marine Rescue NSW has selected Raymarine to supply new electronic navigation systems for its fleet of 95 boats based along the entire New South Wales coast, from Eden to Tweed Heads.
According to Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Glenn Finniss: “Every minute we can save in responding to an emergency can make a difference in saving lives. We need navigation aids that are effective, efficient and easy to operate.
“Raymarine’s solution met our requirements across every criterion we specified.”
Marine Rescue NSW began operating this year and has created a single, unified body through integration of the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard Association, Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol and marine units of the Volunteer Rescue Association.
The organisation is upgrading its fleet over the next five years and will integrate Raymarine systems into each boat.
Commissioner Finniss said: “Raymarine’s ability to provide integrated chartplotters, depth sounders, Radar and low light vision systems was impressive.”
Marine Rescue NSW operates boats ranging in size and structure from fast, light, open RHIBs to large, ocean-going Category 3 rescue vessels. Each size and type requires different electronic systems.
“We wanted to avoid the TV remote control syndrome with our technology,” said Commissioner Finniss. “We rely on volunteers to operate our rescue boats. If they have to learn new systems for every class of boat, it would slow us down. Raymarine was able to demonstrate that the products in their range, from A Series to E-Wide Hybrid Touch and T Series thermal image cameras, are easy to use and consistent in the commands needed to operate them.”
Split-screen layout with up to four separate display items was also important given the variety in sizes and configuration of vessels in the Marine Rescue fleet.
“This is especially important on smaller vessels with limited space in front of the helm,” he said. “Raymarine met this objective.”
Raymarine Asia Managing Director Ben Bowley said that the company’s integration with FLIR has expanded the company’s ability to offer integrated packages to a wide variety of boating demands.
“Consistency in the ease of use of our products has been a major focus for Raymarine over many years,” he said. “We have now been able to add the FLIR range of low-light cameras to complete the offering.”
Commissioner Finniss said Raymarine had also been able to meet the vital criterion of value for money.
“We need an annual budget of $14 million to operate effectively,” he said. “Government grants and fees through the boat registration and licencing system provide only half that amount. So we need to raise $7 million a year through donations, benefactors, bequests and sponsorships.
“As a result, we look very closely at value. The solution offered by Raymarine met that objective.”