THE newly formed small boat team, part of the Water Police Squad, will be on the water over summer.
To deal with some of the state’s most complex marine emergencies, the team will use a mix of smaller and more maneuverable vessels including jet skis and inflatable rescue boats, both inland and along the coast.
Water Police Squad and small boat team Acting Sergeant Kristina Clappison says jet skis and inflatable rescue boats are able to go where bigger vessels can’t, meaning police can get to people more swiftly when seconds matter.
The newly formed team will make it easier for police to access hard-to-reach areas like sea caves, cliffs and rocky shorelines when responding to search and rescue incidents.
Victoria Police figures show the Water Police Squad responded to more than 570 marine incidents last season.
The team will boost Victoria Police’s response to such incidents as vessels which have capsized, collided or run aground.
Its members will also be able to quickly reach people aboard human-powered vessels like kayaks and paddleboards who get stranded or need urgent assistance.
Additionally, it will provide emergency assistance during extreme weather events such as floods and bushfire evacuations.
The capability is on top of the Water Police Squad existing enforcement efforts, which include proactive patrols and targeted deployments and safety operations.