Sod-turning ceremony for new Broome sea rescue base

Nicola KalmarBroome Advertiser

Broome Volunteer Sea Rescue Group marked the start of construction of its long-awaited headquarters with a sod-turning ceremony last week.

Members and key stakeholders attended the event, which heralded a milestone in the project’s 14-year history.

The facility is being built on a prime block of land at Entrance Point to facilitate faster emergency response times and provide an efficient maritime rescue service to the Broome community.

BVSRG commander Brett Winfield said the base’s location would greatly reduce response time for emergency call-outs.

“The group’s current location in the light industrial area means that valuable time is wasted travelling to the launch area,” he said.

“Due to Broome’s lack of a marina or safe launching facilities, we must use a tractor to launch our primary rescue vessel across the beach. It takes an unacceptably long time to reach the launch site from our current location.

“The location means we are literally within about one minute of the launching area and will reduce our response time by approximately 20 minutes.

“One of our vessels, the Sea Legs vessel, will simply be driven directly from the shed straight down to the water.”

Mr Winfield said the headquarters would provide secure storage for the crew’s vessels, tow vehicles and rescue equipment.

It will also feature an operations room from which search and rescue operations will be co-ordinated, as well as a radio room and training facilities.

“The provision of this essential facility has been made possible by the formation of a strong partnership between the key stakeholders in the project,” Mr Winfield said.

“Kimberley Ports Authority, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services, and Nyamba Buru Yawuru have worked closely with Broome Sea Rescue to make this project possible.

“The area is of major cultural significance and sensitivity and we are extremely grateful to Yawuru and the traditional owners for their commitment to making this project possible.”

He said major contributors to the project included Royalties for Regions, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services, Kimberley Development Commission, and Lotterywest. The building is being constructed by Broome company H&M Constructions and is expected to be completed by June.

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