Smart New Boat launched at Cape Conran
Thursday 30 May, 2013
The Friends of Beware Reef and Parks Victoria rangers celebrated the launch of a stylish new boat with a traditional champagne christening at Cape Conran yesterday. They were joined by children, parents and teachers from Orbost, Marlo, and St Josephs Primary schools in naming the sporty red and white Diodon, the scientific name for the puffer fish.
Parks Victoria's District Manager for East Gippsland Will McCutcheon and Don Love from the Friends of Beware Reef jointly christened the new boat with a good splash of champagne. "The Friends have been 'eyes and ears' at Beware Reef since the Beware Reef Marine Sanctuary was created," said Mr McCutcheon, "We’ve relied on them heavily for boat access to the reef, research dives and reporting illegal activities. We can now offer on water support to the group and do our own monitoring and compliance patrols."
The boat is quite different from the usual type of Parks Victoria boat because it’s designed to suit the local marine operations of the East Gippsland rangers. It’s a rigid inflatable with twin engines and a versatile design that’s suitable for patrols, diving operations, whale entanglement rescues and research work such as underwater mapping using side image sonar.
Ranger Mike Irvine says the new addition to the Parks Victoria fleet has everything they need, "It’s very fast, light and easy to launch in small or difficult places. Its shallow draft and easy access for scuba divers makes it perfect for the research work we’ll be doing at Beware Reef. It can also be easily towed to support park operations on lakes, estuaries and offshore across eastern Victoria."
The winners of a local primary school video competition to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of Marine Protected Areas were given a ride on the new boat to Beware Reef. Their videos were later viewed during a group barbecue lunch at Cape Conran Campground.
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