Marine Rescue Ballina skipper Jeff Norton and deputy commander Tony Hensley watch the crew from Universal Cranes at Ballina as they lower the newly-repaired boat back into the water at the Fishery Creek boat ramp in Ballina.
Marine Rescue Ballina skipper Jeff Norton and deputy commander Tony Hensley watch the crew from Universal Cranes at Ballina as they lower the newly-repaired boat back into the water at the Fishery Creek boat ramp in Ballina. Rebecca Lollback

Marine Rescue's $50,000 repair

MARINE Rescue Ballina has finally got its boat back in the water after its first major repairs in 12 years, but it has set them back $50,000.

The unit's deputy commander Tony Hensley said the work was done by Sailfish Marine at Alstonville and took just under two months.

"After many years of trying to fix the back deck ourselves, we decided to bite the bullet and have Sailfish do it," Mr Hensley said.

"We got a quote for $5000, plus servicing the motors.

"But the bill went from $5000 to $50,000 because when they started servicing the motors, they were found to be unserviceable.

"Lucky we got to them before they broke down."

Ballina Shire Council lent a low loader to move the boat between Ballina and Alstonville and Universal Cranes lent a crane.

But the bill is still a major blow for the volunteers.

Marine Rescue Ballina has been busy fundraising for a new communications tower, because the existing one at the end of North Wall is on a lean and has poor facilities.

"That's why we need people to support the boat show and all the other fundraising that we do," Mr Hensley said.

"We also need to keep the boat up to scratch so that when we go out to rescue the people who need rescuing, we can do it confidently."

The Ballina Boat and Leisure Show will be at Seagulls grounds on September 29-30.

The event will cater to all aspects of boating, camping, 4x4 accessories, cycling and other recreational activities.



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