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Coastguard disappointed at boaties

Published: 7:03PM Monday March 24, 2008 Source: ONE News

Repeated reminders for boaties to head to sea properly prepared appear to have gone unheeded this summer.

The coastguard has expressed disappointment at the number of avoidable callouts it has attended at a time when volunteer funds are scarce.

John Kothe, the coastguard skipper, says its annoying, expensive and a cost to valuable time when they receive callouts for something a boatie should have looked into before heading into the water.

The coastguard is a valuable service in the water, but its not free as it costs the average person a $89-a -year membership fee.

If you're not a member, then calling the coastguard is even more expensive as they charge $225 an hour, but some boaties stranded in the water are lucky to get special deals.

But for the pricey service, no one on board the coastguard gets paid as they are all volunteers.

Kothe is in contract management and Martin Treadwell, Kothe's work colleague on the boat is self-employed.

"Its like a family you know, we all look out for everyone on and off the water and that's what draws everyone here," says Treadwell.

Even with free labour and call-out fees, the coastguard is not rich.

It is an essential service which gets no direct government funding, but still gets boaties home, one way or another.