SES deputy controller Ian Leckie and unit controller and acting local controller Stuart Ferguson with the new flood rescue boat.
SES deputy controller Ian Leckie and unit controller and acting local controller Stuart Ferguson with the new flood rescue boat. Jacklyn Wagner

SES floats its new boat

WITH the summer flood season looming Lismore SES has taken possession of a new flood rescue boat.

State member for Lismore Thomas George handed over the new $23,300 rigid hulled inflatable flood rescue boat at the SES base in Lismore last week.

SES unit controller and acting local controller Stuart Ferguson said the new boat was ideal for use at night in fast-moving water when there was a danger of getting pushed against a solid object, such as a power pole.

"This new boat will make it much safer for our people because this boat is more flexible and has some give in its construction, so there is less danger of damage or a capsize in this situation.

"It's like having a bumper bar all around the boat."

Mr Ferguson said he suspected Lismore may have more of a storm season than a flood season, with localised flooding likely.

He also warned some business owners in Lismore were quite complacent about flooding, expecting the flood levee to protect the town.

"There are many businesses in town that don't have a flood plan," he said.

"The flood levee is only designed to protect in the event of a one-in-10-year event.

"The '89, '74 and '54 floods would all have topped the wall and eventually a flood will top the wall again."

Mr Ferguson also advised households in flood-prone areas to have to have a flood kit in the event of an evacuation.

"The flood kit should include a large plastic tub carrying a radio with a spare battery, any important household documents, some snacks for the kids and some ponchos to keep you dry."

Mr Ferguson said the SES often relied heavily on local knowledge for its flood information.

"You can have all the technical gear in place to monitor a flood, but it's often locals that provide the best knowledge when it comes to gathering intelligence about the progress of floods," he said.

"For instance bus drivers often have the best knowledge about the state of the roads as they drive over them every day in all weather."



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