IT'S KNOWN as the NRMA of the ocean with just cause - more than half of the Batemans Bay Marine Rescue unit call-outs are to deliver fuel or tow boats with engine trouble back to the marina.
And much of the service is funded by sweating over a hot barbecue. ''People think we are fully-funded by the state government but we're not; we still sell a lot of sausages,'' Commander Michael Syrek said.
Every rescue search costs money. Just filling the tank on the Batemans Bay rescue's newest boat costs more than $2500.
As the sailing, boating and fishing season gets into full swing Commander Syrek urged captains to do a seaworthiness check of their vessels before heading out.
So far this season crews have helped more than a dozen boats in distress. ''Mostly people run out of fuel or leave stale fuel in the tank which causes a problem for the motors; so we go out and pick them up,'' Commander Syrek said.
''We're starting to get busy, and have had about a dozen call outs and more than 100 vessels have logged on.'' He said the best way to stay safe and avoid unnecessary costs is to make sure the unit knows where you are boating.
''Log on with marine rescue and let them know where you launched, where you intend to fish, the number on board and the time you intend to return,'' he said.
''Most important - remember to log off, if you don't a search will begin soon after the time of your intended return.''