THE AUSTRALIAN Maritime Safety Authority is to continue its vital role providing emergency search and rescue and safety support for the 2022 Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, to be run from December 26.

As in previous years, the AMSA’s Response Centre in Canberra – which operates 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week – will be working closely with race organisers.

AMSA said it would deliver a virtual safety briefing to crew and officials on 23 December.

AMSA Response Centre manager Kevin McEvoy said the safety principles for the crews were the same that everyday boaties should follow including having registered emergency beacons on board, crew wearing life jackets, and having correct safety equipment on board.

“Supporting this and other yacht races, is a service that AMSA is proud to have provided to race crews and officials for the last 25 years,” he said.

“AMSA will work closely with state-based partner agencies to task medical or search and rescue aircraft, and marine vessels from Victoria, NSW and Tasmania, if they are needed.”

The AMSA Response Centre leads and co-ordinates search and rescue activities in Australia’s search and rescue region – around 53 million square kilometres – about 10% of the earth’s surface.

The Response Centre responded to over 7000 incidents in 2021-22, saving nearly 200 lives, according to AMSA.

Usually, there is a 20 to 30% increase in SAR incidents during summer months in Australia with AMSA routinely responding to more than 200 distress calls a month over summer, according to the safety authority.

Of all the rescues that AMSA co-ordinates, around 75% are recreational boaters.