VESSEL REVIEW | MB31 – Durable rescue RIB to operate in Merimbula, Australia

VESSEL REVIEW | MB31 – Durable rescue RIB to operate in Merimbula, Australia

Photo: Marine Rescue New South Wales

Australian boatbuilder Yamba Welding and Engineering (YWE) has delivered a new rigid inflatable boat (RIB) slated for the Merimbula unit of local volunteer rescue organisation Marine Rescue New South Wales.

MB31 was built to a design by New Zealand-based Naiad, YWE’s sister company under Australia-headquartered The Whiskey Project Group. The newbuild is one of 38 new rescue vessels funded by a four-year AU$37.6 million (US$25.14 million) NSW government investment to support the work of Marine Rescue NSW’s volunteers.

Photo: Marine Rescue New South Wales

The RIB measures 11.3 metres long and is powered by two Suzuki outboard engines. The wheelhouse windows are forward-angled to reduce glare while the bow is fitted with handrails to allow safe boarding and disembarkation.

The boat’s other equipment includes a Raymarine radar and a Teledyne FLIR rotating thermal camera. The camera can lock on a person in the water requiring rescue, so that if there is a lot of swell or poor visibility, the crew will still know where to navigate to pick up the survivor.

Photo: Marine Rescue New South Wales

Marine Rescue NSW Senior Manager Fleet Kelvin Parkin said MB31 is the latest in the evolution of Marine Rescue NSW’s vessel program, which includes the agency’s standardised equipment and improvements over the earlier fleet of boats. Key features include augmented reality for water tracking and a field of view display on the navigation system.

The boat also has an under-chine anchor, which Parkin said improves crew safety, as well as ergonomic seats to help reduce crew fatigue.

Photo: Marine Rescue New South Wales

MB31 has already commenced operations out of Marine Rescue Merimbula’s station on the southern coast of New South Wales.

Click here for more news stories, feature articles, and vessel reviews as part of this month’s focus on emergency services vessels.

Type of vessel:RIB – Search and rescue
Owner:Marine Rescue New South Wales, Australia
Designer:Naiad Design, New Zealand
Builder:Yamba Welding and Engineering, Australia
Length overall:11.3 metres
Main engines:2 x Suzuki outboards
Night vision:Teledyne FLIR
Operational area:Merimbula, New South Wales, Australia

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