Emergency Assistance

Hawkesbury River Rescue Inc. provides round the clock emergency assistance for boaters and water-access residents. We appreciate your donations that help us with fuel and running repairs to our rescue boat SPIRIT OF BROOKLYN.

Our next big event for members, friends and guests will be after Christmas in January. Our regular fundraising auction has some truly wonderful items donated by residents and businesses up and down the coast.

More news as it comes to hand.

Safety Boat Duty

On Saturday and Sunday, 29-30 October, SPIRIT OF BROOKLYN will stand-by the Rail Bridge over the Hawkesbury River, providing safety duty for necessary repairs to the Bridge.

Active members Bill Glover, Fiona Mullen, Gil Lobendahn and Pat Woolley will assist between 6am and 6pm each day.

Report from the Bridge no. 4

Report from Bob Brownrigg, HRR President

The Spirit of Brooklyn was involved in the rail bridge inspection by State Rail as a safety boat and was an outstanding success. A very well done to our volunteer crews who demonstrated excellent seamanship in a professional manner.

June also saw our newer members attending the marine radio course went off quite well 100% success in results. We now have 6 more members with Marine Radio Operator qualifications.

Squad members Warren Illes and Rod Wong have been running several weekends of working bees on the Spirit of Brooklyn. Rod totally rewired the electrics including replacing antennas.

And finally the Spirit fo Brooklyn was passed for survey by the RMS.


Fortunately there was only one rescue/assist during the gales experienced by Sydney last week. We did go out on the Monday night as the storm was ramping up to assist a live-aboard yatch that was adrift just off Dangar Island (with the owner on board).

A storm off Dee Why headland / Picture: Jeremy Piper

A storm off Dee Why headland / Picture: Jeremy Piper

Battling the strong currents, wind and rain in the dark, we managed to get the vessel and it’s occupant to a safe mooring off Little Wobby inside of an hour. Alan, Bob and myself attended and it was an incredible experience. The morning showed the damage and the continuing storm front kept adding significant debris to the river along with very strong currents. The only vessels in peril were unattended and Marine NSW were on the job to monitor and deal with these. On Wednesday we pulled a complete pontoon and associated 4 meter ramp from the river as this was proving to be a dangerous navigation hazard.

Unusual rescues…

The rescues and calls for assistance have been regular through February and March 2015. Often we have been able to assist just by giving confidence that the vessel broken down will not be unattended if needing rescue, and a couple of times before we could get to the vessel, the caller had restored engine power and were underway again. It does make a difference when in trouble if you feel secure that you will not be forgotten and therefore can relax and think clearly on how to fix the problem at hand. Confidence can move mountains…certainly sometimes even start engines again!

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Al with the crew of the Cessna at Sandy Beach, south of Little Wobby.

Then there was the rescue of a 1958 Cessna Sea Rescue Plane! Thanks to a tip off from our Vice President Gail, we were able to assist and take care of not only the plane, but her pilot and crew who stayed the night in the comfort of Al and Hilary’s guest cottage. Bob and Felicity saved the day by very kindly vacated their mooring for Sedna at 2300 hours to allow the Cessna to moor up for the night.


Spirit Of Brooklyn dropping off the crew in the morning, and on standby to make sure all was in order for take off.

The VRA/HRR have made a real friend of the Seaplane Pilots Association of Australia and their gratitude was expressed in a letter by Chairman, Phillip Dulhunty OAM.

Going the extra yards makes the difference and its for this reason the Hawkesbury River Rescue is going to become the most important rescue resource on the River for our Community.

Spirit of Brooklyn gets new engines

engines2This morning Bob, Felicity, Al and Hil got the Spirit of Brooklyn over to Brooklyn Yamaha and onto the slip ready for the spanking new engines and new tilts.

Bob and Felicity had been through the process before so things went very smoothly and to plan.

Because the engine tilts aren’t operational, and the engines need lifting to clear the slip edge, the crane of Sedna (of Miss Piggy Barges) was used to lift them. They were then chocked into place.

engines1We are very grateful for the grant that has allowed us to repair and upgrade our rescue vessel. Al had spent time during the week repairing the fuel line properly which has saved us a repair bill there too so in about a week we’ll be back in business with the Spirit of Brooklyn running on efficient new engines!

(btw if anyone wants to buy the old engines, please contact us for details)

Report From The Bridge no.2


Mooney Mooney RFS alongside the Spirit of Brooklyn at the old Sport and Recreation Jetty, Little Wobby Beach

Report from Bob Brownrigg, HRR President

We had a training exercise with RFS Jan 17 & 18, which went down exceptionally well and the following week we managed to get SOB in a RFS documentary, Thalassa

That Sunday morning also started with an assist, as Spirit of Brooklyn was tied up training with the RFS/CFU it was carried out by RFA Polly.

Tiffany from Mooney RFS partners Al on the hose

Al (in blue CFU) on the hose, being backed up by Tiffany from Mooney RFS, off shore at Little Wobby.

We trained with RFS/CFU, Alan and Hil were the marine crew and I can’t sing their praises high enough. We are down one engine and the crew performed as if we had both. The training consisted of Spirit of Brooklyn towing a life ring representing a boat on fire with 2 RFS fire boats responding to assist Spirit of Brooklyn who, with fire pump on board was directing a stream at the target (boat on fire).

Al and Harvey Black out on an assist in The Gut

Al and Harvey Black out on an assist in The Gut

Harvey Black our Director of Training visited for an informal meeting and BBQ on Feb the 18th, along with Cath Draheim and the discussions were helpful and productive. Harvey spent the night at Al and Hil’s cottage and as we were heading for a sun downer, there was a call out attended by Al, Hil, and Harvey. Almost like we planned it. End result donation, new member and head office saw us in action. Thanks to Al & Hil for hospitality shown to Harvey.

Met with Dangar Island First Responders. Very positive with Felicity being invited to a meeting with them and Area Health and Al transporting a doctor for a patient assessment and the next day transporting the patient.

Finally, we welcome to new active member Don Tritton!