Operation Jet Eagle

The Surf Life Saving SA Jet Rescue Boat Crews have been hosting Californian Lifeguards here in Adelaide on a fact-finding mission regarding the capabilities of SA’s Jet Rescue Boat fleet.

The goodwill visit affectionately termed Operation Jet Eagle saw Rob Williams, Chief Lifeguard, Newport Beach Fire Department, Marine Operations and Gary Conwell – Lifeguard Captain Newport Beach Fire Department travel to inspect and trial the South Australian Jet Boat Fleet with a view to purchasing similar craft to replace the existing Newport Fleet.

The Newport Beach Lifeguard Service currently operates 30-foot fibreglass hull boats with twin gas engines and shaft driven propellers, however with their fleet being due for replacement they were given permission to travel to various locations and research how other agencies use their rescue water craft.

Arriving on Monday the Newport Lifeguards were thrown straight into it, meeting some of the JRB crew and asking lots of questions. On Tuesday they met with the boat builder, before taking to the water in Lifesaver 2 for a tour from West Beach to North Haven to test the capabilities of our Jet Boats. Wednesday saw a trip from West Beach to Normanville in Lifesaver 2 and Lifesaver 3, again showcasing the boats impressive specs and features, in particular, how manoeuvrable they are, working in shallow water and their towing capabilities. Thursday was a trip South, launching at Victor Harbour and heading around to Middleton to where the Jet Boats come into their own in the surf zone.

Our new American friends departed on Friday, full of information and fully exhausted after cramming so much into such a short space of time. It was great relationship builder, as our JRB crews also learnt from the Lifeguards about what other options are out there for our own rescue watercraft.

Special thanks to John, Jim and Noelene for their outstanding level of commitment to make the trip the success that it was.

To think that America’s Lifeguards have travelled half way across the world to see our very own Jet Boats, Surf Life Saving SA punching well above their weight limit, again!

Operation Jet Eagle – Mission Status – SUCCESS.