The Whyalla Sea Rescue (WSR) Squadron are eagerly awaiting the arrival of their new rescue vessel, an 8.4 metre Nautic Star, which is scheduled for delivery in May as part of the Voluntary Marine Rescue (VMR) vessel replacement program.
To facilitate the purchase of the new vessel, Whyalla Sea Rescue's 7-4 metre Clayton was sold last year to an interstate buyer.
Prior to the disposal of WSR's vessel a plan was put to the VMR committee of South Australia and the South Australian Police to ensure the safety of Whyalla's boating community was not compromised.
To maintain rescue services during this transition period the squadron has been using its three privately-owned vessels which are fully accredited and surveyed by VMR in conjunction with SAPOL.
WSR Commodore Steven Zbierski said the squadron responds to two to three incidents a month and do have Port Pirie and Cowell Sea Rescue available for assistance if required.
"These incidents are usually breakdowns requiring vessels to be towed to safety," he said.
"Without the early intervention of Sea Rescue these incidents can easily escalate to much more serious situations."
Last month WSR deployed two boats to assist a vessel taking on water at Point Lowly, and rescued a crew of four people on a boat which had been overturned with assistance from Whyalla surf lifesavers.
Last weekend two boats which requested assistance at the same time were rescued by vessels deployed by the WSR squadron.
"Our thanks must go to the owners and crews of these Accredited Standby vessels who have provided such a great service to the boat public during this period," Mr Zbierski said.