In a boating emergency

Radio for help on

Channel 16 on VHF 
(distress and calling channel)

Channel 88 (27.880 MHz) 
on a 27 MHz radio


Call MRNSW on

9450 2468


Or call




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Current weather warnings for New South Wales / Australian Capital Territory, Australia including strong wind, gale, storm force and hurricane force wind warnings; tsunami; damaging waves; abnormally high tides; and tropical cyclones.
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News & Media

  • Full steam ahead for skipper
  • December 12, 2013

Marine Rescue Port Stephens skipper Mike Smith at the wheel of the PS Pevensey on the Murray River.

A Marine Rescue Port Stephens skipper has proven his versatility at the wheel during a recent holiday trip on the Murray River.

Coxswain Mike Smith and his wife joined friends for a tour on the largest of the paddle steamers at Echuca, the 111 foot PS Pevensey, built at the Moama slipway by Permewan Wright and Co Ltd in 1910, weighing 130 tons, with a 23 foot beam.

Pevensey still has its original two-cylinder Marshall and Sons steam engine, which operates fully laden on a ton of red gum wood an hour.

The iron and timber vessel was named after a sheep station on the Murrumbidgee River.

After the end of the river trade Pevensey was tied up for a time at Mildura, before going to Echuca to be restored in 1973.

Where it had previously carried up to 815 bales of wool at a time, Pevensey now works as a tour boat, carrying 100 people on each cruise.

After Mike made himself known to the skipper on the vessel’s outward journey, he was offered the wheel on the return trip of about 20 minutes.

“The vessel has no rudder, so the wheel was very heavy to operate, nothing like the power steering of our vessels,” he said.

“You have to be well ahead of the game in manoeuvring the vessel around the tight bends of the river. Turning the wheel to starboard has the effect of increasing the speed of the port paddlewheel and vice versa in turning to port.

“I was quite pleased when (the skipper) recovered the wheel coming in to the Echuca berth.”

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