A rescue, a drone and whales

Last weekend was a busy one especially when I was on duty with the marine rescue. On the Sunday it started as a usual day on the boat where we would have our duty shifts and nothing is always the same. I have been there at least 13 years now and I might be letting my skills slip a little, but I still turn up and learn something. We will soon be getting a new boat, but we still have our main vessel that we take out. The new boat is meant to have all the bells and whistles. We did go out in the ocean first up to have a look and give some of us access to the helm where we could navigate our way to different locations. This is the time of year when whales are traveling north to give birth and they do put on a show with their jumping and tail flapping as they go past. The role of the crew is to keep a watch for the slipper in case he doesn’t see an object like another boat. That’s not the full role, which includes radio communications as a small fraction of what we do. I do tend to debate with the skipper as to why I place a rope where I have, but at least he explains why he wants me to have it a certain way, which I accept.

Later after we had returned and had something to eat, we got a call that a dragon boat had rolled over out at sea and we were needed to pick the people up. There are several groups that do race them in the local area. Once we went out to find the boat with the rowers in the water, we found them with another boat that was making sure they didn’t get too close to the beach. It took several minutes to get the people out of the water though I was watching keeping an eye on the swell in case something might create a danger to our boat. The duckboard had been opened up so that the people could climb on board and there was only room for one crew member. We were going to leave the dragon boat to go onto the beach as it wasn’t safe for us to try and hook it up due to how close we were. The people were happy for us to pick them up and found they were from Switzerland and from Amsterdam, which was pretty cool. It was one interesting holiday for them. The other boat that had been holding them off earlier did hand over their oars, which I found were around $500 each. No wonder no one was letting them go. Once back at shore the people were happy to wait for friends who were trying to find them. It seems that their friends had to use maps that were from Amsterdam to Australia to find the correct street here. I really do not know how that works, but at least they were happy to be back on dry land.

An hour or so later we were washing the boat down and I heard something buzzing around like a mosquito, but much larger. I looked up and seen what looked like a drone go flying past. I thought it was strange someone would fly one over the water and wondered how much it actually cost. I did remark that it was pretty high up in the sky and must have good signal with it going pretty far away from the owner. I was not sure about the rules in regards to flying them, but I do know you cant fly them in crowded places like a beach. Pretty soon as I had stopped to watch again the drone clipped the mast of a nearby yacht that was tied up to the dock. It broke in two pieces and fell into the water. Those who were watching did cheer and clap as the drone hit the water. Soon we learnt the drone had cost the owner $6,000. I did hear from the other guys that he did fish one part of the drone out of the water, but I do wonder if it would still work or be a very expensive paper weight. It was a pretty busy morning and then we went home to be on call for the rest of the day.

Being on the rescue boat and on duty as I have posted before the day on a rescue boat can change drastically from the weather to what the ocean is doing as people could be caught out. You can see anything from whales, dolphins and even turtles. Though I do like the summer as its warmer and plenty of things to see even though it is really hot. In some sort of way it is like working at my job, which is the same type of duties except the retail environment is very different.

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