by Dom Wiseman

Victorian boaters who find themselves in distress and requiring emergency assistance over the crucial and busy holiday period in Victoria may find themselves on their own. The Victorian State Government has been slow on providing funding for the 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.”

An open letter has been sent to the Premier of Victoria from the MSAR sector of Victoria.