HELP Dunedin Marine SAR install a web camera at the Taieri Mouth bar to prevent accidents and assist water rescues.
“In the water over 40 minutes and starting to run out of puff” is not something Jim Murdoch would wish on anyone and especially not himself again.
In September 2020, he came to grief in his 6.8m boat, Shear Bliss, despite years of experience. “We were only 6 or 8m off the channel on the same line we took going out” but off is off and on the bar is where they hit. A wave washed over the back of the boat and next minute he and his crew were swimming for their lives.
That is why he is keen to have a camera installed for the Taieri Mouth Bar. “It would’ve helped me” he reckons. Despite often coming from Milton for a look the day before fishing, Jim says it is difficult to catch the tide dead low to see the where the channel is and regular fishers like him know how much that channel moves. With a good webcam, “I’d be able to check what the sea is doing before leaving home.”
After at least 3 significant accidents at Taieri Mouth in 2020 and many more stretching back over the decades, we finally have the technology to give boaties a tool to help find out what the river mouth is doing. Not only will they be able to see real time streaming video but they will able to view previous tides to help them figure out what is happening on the bar.
It's not just boaties that this will benefit, it is anyone who uses the water at Taieri Mouth for anything; whitebaiters, picnikers, kayakers, jetskiers, swimmers and walkers. An actual view of the area is helpful for everyone.
The plan is to place a high-powered camera at a suitable spot then stream the video free of charge along with perhaps a week of still shots taken every 15 minutes.
Additionally, links to weather forecasts, tides and safety information will be all available on a single site.
This camera will be a useful tool to help people make better decisions about the bar but more importantly it will be highly valuable to Search and Rescue coordinators in the event of misadventure and it may even save lives.
To mount this cutting edge device in a suitable location on a rigid steel pole, high enough to look over houses and power lines will be a significant investment and we need your help to achieve it.
Here is your chance to put a little in the pot and help make it happen.
We have put up this Givealittle page as a focus for the fundraising campaign so that it is easy for you to spread the word about the camera and so that it is easy for people to make a contribution no matter how large or small.
People typically have questions, so we have answered a few FAQ's below.
What is the overall fundraising target?
Stage 1 - Raise $20,000 to buy the right camera, mount it at a suitable location, establish secure internet and power then set up a website for anyone to view the bar. A grant of nearly $15,000 has been received from the Southern Trust, so only $5,000 is needed to get the camera operational in the first instance. Hence our Givealittle target is $5,000.
Stage 2 - Raise $30,000 to mount the camera at a more ideal location with a higher, more panoramic view of the wider area. This money will come from other fundraising.
Why so much?
Typical outdoor cameras for domestic use are quite inexpensive nowadays but that is not the situation here. What’s required is a high quality, durable machine capable of a full range of zoom, pan & tilt in a marine environment.
Additionally a concrete foundation to mount a tall steel pole that will not waver in the wind is required for the final location. Bear in mind that an event when the camera is most essential is likely to be when the wind is highest and maximum zoom required. Wooden poles tend to flex and power poles are off limits to third party devices let alone technicians needing to service them.
There will also be power, internet and legal work required to get everything established and completed.
When will the camera be operational?
We aim to have the camera broadcasting this Summer. Initially it will be placed in the easiest available location with a reasonable view and internet connection, then it will be moved to a better spot once all the required infrastructure is in place.
What organisation is running the project?
This is a community project managed by Dunedin Marine Search & Rescue. The idea came out of a couple of Taieri River Mouth Bar Safety evenings run after 2 recent rescues on the bar.
Here are links to our website and facebook pages:
What is Dunedin Marine Search and Rescue?
The organisation was formed by the Dunedin Police in 1971 to advise and assist them with resources on all matters of inshore marine search and rescue. It is incorporated as a Charitable Trust. Our water rescue squad is the longest running air sea rescue squad in New Zealand.
Who are the coordinators for the Taieri Mouth Barcam Project?
Steve Rushbrook - is the ORC Harbourmaster who works to ensure that our waterways are safe for everyone to enjoy.
Otago Regional Council (ORC) is responsible for the regulation of ports, harbours, waters, and maritime-related activities in the Otago region under the Maritime Transport Act (1994), except for Queenstown Lakes District which has their own Harbourmaster.
Steve has a keen interest in all things nautical. He attended the Taieri Mouth Safety meetings along with his deputy, Peter Dryden, who presented on lifejacket use & maintenance.
Max Corboy - has been instrumental in development of Surf Search and Rescue operations in our region, fostering the Otago Surf SAR Team into a highly skilled group.
He is also a St Kilda Surf Lifesaving Club committee member, a member of the Local Lifeguard Committee, event safety officer for local and regional events, and he masterminded the Otago Surf digital radio network that has enabled clear and reliable communications between the Dunedin clubs.
Martin Balch - is the Chairman of Dunedin Marine SAR and heavily involved in Yachting. He is also Chairman of the Otago Maritime VHF association and South Island Mountain radio service, Secretary/Treasurer of the Otago amateur radio association and a flag officer of the Vauxhall Yacht Club.
His work and recreational life is all about effective communications to promote enjoyment and prevent mishaps.
Sergeant Nathan White, Otago Coastal SAR Coordinator - is based out of Dunedin Central Police Station. He is in his 20th year of policing, the last 7 associated with Search and Rescue (SAR). He is officer in charge of Otago Coastal SAR.
In his own words: “SAR is an area I am passionate about and a role I get a lot of enjoyment from. I am fortunate to have a great team alongside me and the support of fantastic people from our partner agencies and volunteer groups alike. We have a wonderful playground on our doorstep and my goal through education, building relationships and use of new technology is to do my bit to make our patch the safest possible place for us all to enjoy”.
We all have a part to play in this and so we ask for your help and generous donations to get this helpful safety tool up and running for everyone to use and benefit from
Ehara taku toa, i te toa takitahi Engari, he toa takitini - “Success is not the work of one, but the work of many”
Dunedin MSAR is a not for profit organisation that is made up of interested, trained and capable volunteer individuals who give up their time to rescue those who are in danger in the marine environment.
The funds raised here will go towards getting a camera up and running this Summer then relocating it to an ideal position. Surplus funds will be allocated to the ongoing activities of Dunedin Marine SAR.
$!5,000 grant from Southern Trust. 2 January 2021
The Taieri Mouth Bar Cam project has just moved a whole lot closer to fruition with a wonderfully generous grant from the Southern Trust of $15,000.
This means that only $5,000 is needed to get the camera up and running at Stage 1, so we have modified the Givealittle target accordingly.
Please share the link on your facebook pages and we'll be there in no time...