Nov 2015 Update:
We are excited to announce that we will soon take delivery of a 6.8m Naiad Search & Rescue Vessel. Commissioned in April 2014, this vessel is to be redeployed to Middle Harbour where it will serve as an inshore fast response search & rescue platform for Sydney harbour and its adjoining waterways. This new boat includes numerous improvements over its predecessor, including an infra-red camera and RADAR to improve effectiveness of searches in restricted visibility, and an enclosed cabin to protect the crew from the elements. We expect to have the new MH20 ready for service in time for the peak season of boating activity throughout December and January.
In 2014 Marine Rescue Middle Harbour retired its Atlantic 21 RHIB MH20. MH20 (aka B554N) valiantly endured more than 40 years service under the most demanding of circumstances, first in the North Sea under the command of RNLI, followed by Port Jackson and Middle Harbour under the RVCP and later Marine Rescue NSW. Despite the best efforts of the boatmasters and skippers, the years of strain began to take their toll making it uneconomical to continue to maintain MH20 to the standard required of a rescue vessel.
In addition to providing rapid response for inshore SAR and MEDEVAC missions, MH20 served as our primary workhorse for assisting small vessels, especially in shallower waters that would be difficult to navigate with the much larger and heavier MH30. The forgiving nature of RHIBs also made MH20 an excellent platform to train new members in boat-handling and close quarters maneuvering.
Throughout 2014 and 2015 our volunteers have poured tremendous energy into raising funds to purchase a replacement vessel, and we hope to confirm the purchase by the end of 2015.