- Marine Rescue Whitfords founding member Ken Blackie honoured yesterday
- Brand new $266,000 Ken Blackie vessel officially launched at open day
- The fast and powerful boat will help Marine Rescue Whitfords attend hundreds of search and rescue missions every year
Marine Rescue Whitfords founding member Ken Blackie has been recognised with the naming of the group's new Naiad vessel in his honour.
The $266,000 Ken Blackie was officially launched yesterday (December 1) by Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan and Mr Blackie at the Marine Rescue Whitfords open day.
The Ken Blackie has an enclosed cab, and modern radio and satellite phone technology so the marine rescue group can communicate directly for the first time with other emergency services personnel including the SES.
The fast and powerful vessel will also help ensure quicker response times to calls for assistance and will provide a safer journey for those rescued at sea.
Shortly after the vessel was officially launched yesterday it responded to a distress call at sea, which was resolved safely.
The $266,000 new vessel is part of the McGowan Government's record $19.5 million investment in Western Australia's marine rescue groups.
Marine Rescue Whitfords, which has 130 active volunteers, is one of the State's busiest groups with more than 210 search and rescue missions over the past year.
There are 39 Marine Rescue groups situated along Western Australia's 13,000 kilometre coastline helping people in trouble on the water.
In 2018, the McGowan Government committed a record investment of more than $19 million over four years in funding through the Emergency Services Levy for local marine rescue groups.
Comments attributed to Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan:
"Ken Blackie has dedicated more than 40 years to helping people who have gotten into trouble on the water.
"It is a fitting tribute that Whitfords Marine Rescue's new $266,000 vessel has been named in his honour considering his tireless service to his community and others.
"It was a great pleasure to meet Ken and all the crew from Whitfords at their open day yesterday.
"They started from very humble beginnings in the mid-seventies, even operating out a bus at one stage, to become one of the State's busiest and most popular marine rescue groups.
"The McGowan Government is highly appreciative of all of WA's marine rescue groups, which is why we committed a record $19.5 million investment at the last Budget towards supporting them.
"The new Ken Blackie vessel is just one of several new boats that will be rolled out under this new investment to help our marine rescue groups get on with the job of keeping us all safe out on the water."
Minister's office - 6552 6300