THE volunteers of the Port Welshpool Coast Guard have had a busy time of late coming to the rescue of stranded mariners.
On the night of Thursday January 26 they received a phone call from the crew of a boat which was experiencing propulsion difficulties. The water police happened to be at Port Welshpool at the time, so Rocco Maruzza from the coast guard jumped aboard and went out on the police boat to the stricken vessel, which was off Hunter Point on Wilsons Promontory. The police boat towed the smaller boat, which had a crew of three, back to Port Welshpool.
On the morning of January 29 the coast guard received a call that a vessel was in distress in Toora Channel. Three members of the coast guard attended the scene, arriving at about 10am to find a small boat with an electrical problem. They towed it back to the boat ramp at Port Welshpool.
Then that night (Sunday) at about 10.30 the water police informed the coast guard that a yacht had run aground on a rock off Singapore Point at the Prom. The coast guard went out to the yacht and found it was on its side. They rescued the man and woman who were on board and brought them back to Port Welshpool. Then at high tide early the next morning they returned to the yacht, bringing a fire pump in case they needed to pump water out. However, they found the yacht had righted itself, so they dropped off its crew, retrieved an anchor for them and waited while they freed their boat from the rock and motored into deeper water.
The Gippsland water police were at Port Welshpool for several days. Customs joined them for a day, with both organisations making use of the coast guard facilities. Unfortunately, they water police were not still at the port on Monday night, when the three young adventurers in their ocean row boat struck trouble [see story page 3]. They were rescued by the water police from Melbourne, with the involvement yet again of the Port Welshpool Coast Guard.