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St Kilda Coast Guard
Guarding Melbourne’s water playground at the top of the Bay for over 45 Years.
Australian Volunteer Coast Guard St Kilda has been operating from the St Kilda Marina for over 45 years. In that time it has consistently served the northern end of Port Philip, it includes one of the busiest shipping channels in Australia and is the water playground for much of Melbourne. The Yarra and Maribyrnong river systems are also patrolled by the flotilla.
Flotilla Commander Carlo Viti said “The flotilla is on duty every weekend/public holiday’s and has a specialised search and rescue team on call 24/7. Summer is especially a busy time for the flotilla, we compensate by adding extra duties to keep the waterways a safer place to be and enjoy. There is nothing better than watching a sunset from the river. One of more recent events observed on the bay was watching the new HMAS Canberra being towed and located at Williamstown.”
“We work very closely with the Water Police, the Port of Melbourne authority and with Parks Victoria, all of whom have responsibility for the Bay, Shipping channels and the rivers.”
“We are always looking for new members and there is a great opportunity to learn a range of marine skills including seamanship, boat handling, radio operations, coastal navigation and first aid. Training is provided and it is a good way to meet new people and learn new skills while helping the community. This next year will be especially exciting as the flotilla will install a brand-new building at the flotilla to help us continue to service the community for another 45 years.”
Coast Guard St Kilda currently has 42 active members and two vessels: an 8-metre Plate-Aluminium Monohull with two 225hp outboard engines and a 6-metre Fibreglass Shark Cat with two 90hp outboards.
In the last year Coast Guard St Kilda has attended to more than 150 call-outs which mostly consist of vessel breakdowns or to flat batteries and running out of fuel but on occasions our assists have been of a more serious nature such as search and rescues, sinking or grounded vessels.
As one of eight flotillas in Port Philip and Western Port, the Victorian Coast Guard has centralised Radio monitoring at Sandringham from everyday including weekends and public holidays (phone 03 9598 7003). Channels monitored are 27 MHz 2788 and 2794, VHF 16, 67, 72 and repeater 81, HF 2, 4&6 emergency channels plus. In an Emergency call 000 and ask for the Water Police.
Follow Coast Guard Melbourne on Twitter @cgmelb
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For further interviews and photo's phone Carlo Viti, on 0411440589.