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Sea Wasp  Straddie’s rescue boat

Sea Wasp Straddie’s rescue boat

by November 7, 2015 0 comments

The Wasp Creek Rural Fire Brigade (WCRFB), like any Rural Fire Brigade, is a volunteer fire and rescue service that operates primarily within the suburbs of Coomera and Pimpama. First established back in 1994 by concerned local resident Charlie Smith, the WCRFB was originally conceived due to the troubling distance between the area and its nearest urban fire station, which was Southport—over 20 km away.

 

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For the first five years of its existence, the WCRFB was responsible for Coomera and Pimpama’s eastern region running operations between the coast and the eastern side of the highway. In 1999, however, the local South Stradbroke Island Fire Brigade could no longer carry out their service of that region, which is when the now well-established WCRFB then expanded its territory beyond the mainland.

WCRFB’s new acquisition of the isolated island meant that they needed to expand their skills and equipment to cater for a much more marine-oriented area of operations. Out of that necessity for marine equipment and experience, the first thing they needed was a boat. And with that, the Sea Wasp was born. With backing from the Rural Fire Service of Queensland, the WCRFB rallied for funding from the Gold Coast City Council and, once granted, Swift Marine designed a purpose-built version of their surveyed flood rescue boat, which are widely used by the State Emergency Service. A year later, the fully equipped Sea Wasp was officially commissioned and ready for service.

The Sea Wasp is a modified 5.9m Swift SES Barge, generally fitted with twin 90hp outboards. Designed to negotiate the most hazardous of flood conditions the SES of QLD has become accustomed to, the Sea Wasp has fully foamed flotation cells within the hull, providing maximum positive buoyancy and control in extremely shallow waters. Built to legally carry up to ten fire fighters, plus all their equipment, it is needless to say that the Sea Wasp is an integral member of the WCRFB team.

The now well equipped South Stradbroke Island Fire Station is home to the Sea Wasp as well as up to three fire trucks with over 30 volunteers spread between the South Stradbroke and Wasp Creek Fire Stations under command of the WCRFB. These volunteers are constantly training their skills of fire fighting and marine operations in preparation for any emergencies that may arise in their region, making them one of the most versatile emergency services our beautiful coast has to offer.

By Matt Jackson

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