Episode 47 of The Sailing Podcast is an interview with Mal Bettanay of AMSA – The Australian Maritime Safety Authority. AMSA is a federal government body responsible for rescue coordination over 10% of the earth’s surface. I caught up with Mal and discussed emergency beacons at the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show, held in Queensland, Australia in May, 2014.
Although the Australian population is about 0.5% of the world population, under the SOLAS Convention AMSA are looking after approximately 10% of the earth’s surface. Their Emergency Response Centre deal with around 10,000 incidents per year (including beacon activations, searches and medical evacuations). This includes around 500 search specific tasks and on average 300 lives saved every year.
During the interview we hear about:
- AMSA’s role in Abby Sunderland’s rescue in the Indian Ocean
- Tony Bullimore’s rescue in the Southern Ocean in 1997
- The importance of registration, safe storage and correct disposal of EPIRBs
Click on the media player below to listen
Show Notes for Emergency Beacons and AMSA
Well thanks again Mal for chatting to us about AMSA and the importance of looking after and registering your beacon. I know that there are many listeners outside of Australia and I would invite you to leave a comment in this blog post if you know where to dispose of old beacons in your country or if you know who looks after the registration – maybe you can leave a link in the comments so that it can be a quick resource for people who find the interview and want to register their beacon or update their contact details in their own country.
You can visit the AMSA website at www.amsa.gov.au for more information
Mal referred to a couple of well known rescues that AMSA was involved in. The first was about the rescue of Abby Sunderland in the Indian Ocean in 2010. Her yacht, Wild Eyes, had been dismasted and Abby activated her emergency beacon. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority arranged to charter a Qantas Airbus passenger jet to fly out to the vessel, which was over 2000 miles off the Australian coast.
Their goal was to locate the vessel and establish communication while a French commercial fishing vessel made its way to the site.
You can read about the story of Abby Sunderland in her book –
I recently had a nice comment on one of the website pages about a listeners yacht. It was from John who found the page with information about an Arthur Robb designed yacht – Akala owned by a listener also named David. John says:
Thank you David for sharing your beautiful yacht with us. Since purchasing Princess Persephone I’ve searched the web for any Robb content and now there’s Akala; maybe I’ll be inspired to do my part. Persephone was launched in Auckland in 1960 and now can be found in Mangonui Harbour in the Far North.
It is always great to help owners connect and see each others yachts so I would like to invite you again to send me photos of your yacht and I will update my listener gallery which has some yachts in it. Just email me a couple of photos and a bit of the background of your yacht and I can add it to the website. You can email me email@example.com
I would also invite you to download the new app I have had created for The Sailing Podcast. At this stage it is available for iPhone and iPad – with an android version coming soon– You can just search for ‘The Sailing Podcast’ in the App store and you should be able to see it. If not, please let me know and I will send you a direct link. You can download episodes with the app and it has a cool feature that lets you download them to listen to later, when you might be offline – all you do is ‘star’ the episode and it will download for later. There is an android version coming, I just have to get all the images together so that it can be created. If you do get a chance to download it please leave a rating or review for the app – again this just helps it to show up in the search results for apps.
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