by Dom Wiseman

Steber International are a family owned and operated business founded in 1946 and based in New South Wales. Steber are regarded as one of the best manufacturers of fiberglass vessels in the industry due to their commitment to both quality and to the customer.

Steber are currently building a brand new 38-foot search and rescue vessel. The vessel is due to be commissioned in late 2019 by the Port Fairy Marine Rescue Service in Victoria. Steber International have also advised that there is potential in the contract for up to 4 vessels to be built.

The new search and rescue vessel has a big job in front of it. It will be used for both night and day searches and general rescue operations. In addition, the vessel will be engaged to support damaged or disabled vessels, aid with recoveries and assist in the transport of sick or injured persons at sea. It will also provide support for aerial operations.

As with all search and rescue vessels, the new vessel for the Victorian rescue services requires to be fit and equipped to spend long hours at sea. The vessel will be fitted with long range fuel tanks, providing a range of more than 300 nautical miles. Calculated capacity is based on a fully fueled and fully loaded vessel, carrying ten people. Powered by twin Cummins 425hp diesel engines, the boat will be capable of a service speed of 25 knots and a sprint speed of 30 knots.

The vessel will also be fitted with a stack of additional safety and rescue equipment. Features include a Furuno navigation system and other electronic equipment, a man-overboard detection system, FLIR thermal imaging camera, life raft and buoys.

“The commissioning of the new vessel will improve boating safety and emergency response capability in Victoria’s ports, bays and coastal areas for many years to come,” said Wes Oswin, manager, Marine Search and Rescue, Department of Justice and Community.