Average activity 2015

Hi all

Our president Bob did some number crunching last week and it turns out we averaged a call out and response for assistance 2.36 days per week last year (I imagine these are mostly weekends, and with larger numbers in warmer months). Great work by the HRR crew and really gratifying to know how busy we were helping visitors and residence on the lower Hawkesbury River.


Connectivity issues

Hi folks

Many apologies to those of you contacting us yesterday, we had some problems with our mobile phone picking up the base phone redirects.

All is resolved and better still, we have a new mobile with specific regional coverage for those tricky inlets we loose reception in.

Don’t forget you can also reach us on public radio channels which are monitored 24 hours, 7 days.

  • 16 [VHF]
  • 88 [27Mhz]
  • 2524 [HF]

If you are having a medical emergency please call 000. We can help with a patient transfer to meet your ambulance if one is needed (depending on the nature of the problem) or follow the advise of the emergency operator. Marine Rescue and the Water Police are also monitoring radios and calls so you’ll get help🙂




Membership renewal 2015-16

Hi River Dwellers and visitors!

Thank you for your support for the financial year 2014-15.

** It’s time for membership renewals **

As we receive no government subsidies or assistance, your membership fees along with donations keep the only 24 hour, 7 day a week assist and rescue service running on the lower Hawkesbury River.

Fees and payment options are our blog at the link below, thanks for your support in helping us to keep running another year.


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.

Boat Master, Alan Cinis and 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!

Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 5.13.03 pm

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)