Welcome aboard for new Dambi skipper
Posted on 26 Feb 2018
Dambimangari’s ranger team has a new marine officer, Barry Watson, to guide the development of the group’s sea patrol program this year.
The acquisition of the patrol boat Manambadda and tender Abeeya, is paving the way for a major change to Dambimangari sea country operations along the Kimberly coast.
The area is one of the fastest-growing tourism destinations in Australia – even though most of the region is not accessible by land.
The high tides and tropical storms make the area potentially hazardous for seagoing crews working in the spectacular remote sea country.
Barry Watson will oversee training and operations for coastal waters along an estimated 300 kilometres of Kimberley coastline.
A keen fisherman, who has relocated to Derby, he has extensive experience in sea training for rangers and marine crew across northern Australia, working in Far North Queensland, Thursday Island and sections of the Northern Territory coast, as instructor for Border Force patrols.
Much of his work has involved training and mentoring Aboriginal Rangers – including more than five years at the International Marine College in Cairns.
Dambimangari’s new patrol boat, Manambadda, will be launched early in March.
The vessel will be the workhorse for many of the key tasks involved in the management of Dambimangari sea country.
The program will include
- Flora and fauna monitoring.
- Cultural site management.
- Dambimangari’s healthy country program
- Crew transfers and the supply of equipment and provisions to remote base camps.
- Increasing interaction with visitors using the visitor pass systems.
To date, one Dambimangari ranger has acquired their coxswains’ tickets and another five members of the group have completed training but require sea time for formal qualifications. In future, it is expected that more than 10 rangers will have Coxswains tickets and four going on to gain Masters accreditation.
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