BIAV concerns for marine search and rescue services

With the boating season in full swing, Victorian boaters who find themselves in distress and in need of emergency services may be out of luck.

The Victorian State Government has been dragging its feet on delivering funding for Volunteer Marine Search and Rescue services.

“The summer boating season is upon us and tens of thousands of boaters are launching onto coastal waters,” said Boating Industry Association of Victoria President, Mark Crockford.

“Victorian boaters rely on a functional marine rescue service. We are concerned that funding for Volunteer Marine Rescue services in Victoria appears to be a low priority of the Andrews State Government.

“There will be lives put at risk if we don’t get the funding situation sorted out this summer boating season.

“Recreational boaters pay for this service out of the $27 million collected in marine licence and registration fees each year, so we have an expectation that sufficient funding will be provided.”

The Boating Industry Association of Victoria was formed in 1961 and is the peak body for the industry. The marine industry in Victoria contributes $4.5 billion to the state economy and employs over 17,700 FTE.