VESSEL REVIEW | Woolgoolga 30 – Australian rescue RIB to serve northern New South Wales

VESSEL REVIEW | Woolgoolga 30 – Australian rescue RIB to serve northern New South Wales

Photo: Yamba Welding and Engineering

The Whiskey Project Group, the partnership formed by Australian boatbuilder Yamba Welding and Engineering (YWE) and New Zealand-based naval architecture firm Naiad Design, has handed over a new rigid inflatable boat (RIB) to Australian volunteer marine search and rescue (SAR) organisation Marine Rescue NSW.

The new boat will be operated out of Marine Rescue NSW’s Woolgoolga station in New South Wales’ Mid North Coast region, replacing an earlier vessel that was in service for a decade. The newbuild has been given the name Woolgoolga 30 but also carries the alternate name Tamieka Lee in honour of the late daughter of Marine Rescue Woolgoolga Deputy Unit Commander Shirley Teague.

Photo: Yamba Welding and Engineering

The 10- by 3.45-metre Woolgoolga 30 was designed to be capable of being launched directly into and recovered from the beach with the aid of a specialised trailer, as there are no accessible boat ramps in the RIB’s area of operations. The boat is thus light enough to allow quick deployment and retrieval but also able to withstand impact through the bow during beach launching operations, helping reduce crew fatigue and ensuring a longer service life for the boat itself.

The RIB is powered by a Cummins QSB6.7 404kW inboard diesel engine driving a Hamilton waterjet that allows sailing at high speeds as well as tighter turns. Woolgoolga Unit Commander Brian Taylor even remarked that the RIB’s manoeuvrability far exceeds the unit’s previous vessel. For Mitch Harvey, Marine Rescue NSW Northern Zone Training Manager, the comfort and the ease of use of the new RIB far exceeds those of Marine Rescue Woolgoolga’s earlier vessels.

Photo: Yamba Welding and Engineering

The boat also features wheelhouse perimeter handrails to ensure greater safety when walking along the outside deck and during transfers to other vessels.

The wheelhouse electronics include a radar and other equipment from Raymarine, a GME radio, and a rotating thermal camera. The wheelhouse itself has shock-mitigating seats for the coxswain and three other crewmembers.

Photo: Marine Rescue NSW

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

Woolgoolga 30/Tamieka Lee
Type of vessel: RIB – Search and rescue
Flag: Australia
Owner: Marine Rescue NSW, Australia
Designer: Naiad Design, New Zealand
Builder: Yamba Welding and Engineering, Australia
Length overall: 10 metres
Beam: 3.45 metres
Main engine: Cummins QSB6.7 inboard, 404 kW
Propulsion: Hamilton waterjet
Radar: Raymarine
Radio: GME
Other electronics: Raymarine
Type of fuel: Diesel
Crew: 8
Operational area: Mid North Coast, New South Wales, Australia

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