Merger helps boating public

Byron Bay Coastal patrol unit leader Peter Stynes.
Byron Bay Coastal patrol unit leader Peter Stynes.

The Byron Bay Volunteer Coastal Patrol and the rescue boat arm of the Brunswick Valley Rescue Squad, will soon be no more - in name only that is.

Under a new State Government initiative, the two groups, along with all other volunteer marine rescue groups in the State will merge to form Marine Rescue NSW to serve the boating public.

It's aimed at providing NSW with the largest safety net of marine search and rescue, radio communication and boating education services of any state in Australia.

Byron Bay Coastal Patrol unit leader, Peter Stynes and Brunswick rescue squad boat captain, Mark Gasson, both agreed it was a positive step.

They said both groups would now have access to government funding which they didn't have before.

“Naturally we will do our own fund-raising, but the government will be kicking in for the big stuff,” said Mr Stynes.

“We are now one big happy family. We have worked well together in the past, but this cements the bond.”

Mark Gasson said the new arrangement would give his group more certainty for the future.

“If there is a major difference, it removes the financial insecurity that we are under,” he said. A change of names will also mean a change of uniform.

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